State Capitol News
2:21 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Lawmakers Drop Bill Requiring Univ. Students Have "Skin in the Game"

Students at the state's three universities are no longer in danger of having to pay $2,000 a year out of their own pocket. 

Rep. John Kavanagh said while tuition is approaching $10,000 a year, the record shows about half of all students pay absolutely nothing at all toward that bill. He said they get a mix of state aid and federal grants. Kavanagh said that lack of what he calls skin in the game makes students less serious about their studies. So he proposed that minimum $2,000 investment, whether personal funds or borrowed. But Kavanagh said today he is giving up.

"The misinformation became so toxic that the controversy boiled over, making it impossible for members to consider it," he said. "So I just dropped it."

Kavanagh said that misinformation includes the failure to recognize that the bill would have exceptions that would apply to veterans as well as those who live far away and have the added expenses of room and board. Kavanagh said that caused such concern among his colleagues that there is probably no way to do what he wants.

"But I think in the end the tuition increases and the eventual decreases of student aid will cause most of these people to pay $2,000 anyway," Kavanagh predicted.  "So perhaps nature will take its course and have this bill's results occur."