CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s higher education officials have yet to determine how much a college education should cost or take steps to ensure that obtaining a degree is an affordable option for state residents, says a legislative audit.
“The state does not know when college costs too much to be affordable for state residents because there is no definition of higher education affordability,” auditors write in an audit released as part of the Legislature’s November interim meetings. “Cost management for higher education is not emphasized.”
Auditors listed five recommendations for the state Higher Education Policy Commission to consider. The recommendations range from developing specific affordability measures to creating a policy governing cost-controls at the state’s public colleges.
The audit said lawmakers established an affordability target in 2000, but evidence suggested that between 2000 and 2008 higher education became “less affordable for state residents and that an increasing cost burden has been placed on students through rising tuitions and fees.”
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