Who Has Authority to Set Public Tuition Rates?

May 22, 2020

A new 50-state comparison by the Education Commission of the States shows how states determine or cap tuition rates at public colleges.

The comparison reveals that 43 states and the District of Columbia have adopted a state statute that details tuition-setting authority for four-year public colleges. Forty-six states plus Washington, D.C., have done so for two-year public colleges.

In 49 states, the authority to set tuition at four-year public colleges is granted to single or multicampus boards.

Only 11 states have state policies to cap or freeze tuition at four-year colleges, and 10 have the same for two-year colleges.

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