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Governor asks colleges to skip tuition hikes next year

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BATON ROUGE - Gov. John Bel Edwards is urging Louisiana's public colleges against boosting tuition costs on students, after the schools largely escaped budget cuts in the financial year that begins Friday.

The governor made his request Wednesday to Louisiana's Board of Regents.

Edwards supported the 2016-17 budget passed by lawmakers, which gives the schools a less than 1 percent reduction from the money they received this year. In exchange for the protection, Edwards requested "zero or minimal increases" in tuition.

But students and their families already may be paying more than they expected even without tuition increases, because the TOPS tuition program is taking a 30 percent cut.

The Louisiana Community and Technical College System announced last week it won't increase tuition for students. Other college systems haven't announced their plans.

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