Utah’s governor has proposed an end to ‘across-the-board’ tuition for higher education

Gov. Spencer Cox hosts his monthly news conference on PBS Utah from the Eccles Broadcast Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday. Cox told reporters that he would propose a tuition waiver for Utah’s higher education institutions, and that the Utah system of higher education would be used against him. (Spencer Heaps, Deseret News)

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SALT LAKE CITY — It’s no secret that Utah Gov. Spencer Cox is not a fan of President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan.

Cox, in September, joined nearly half of governors across the country in signing a letter condemning the president’s student loan forgiveness plan and calling for it to be repealed.

At his monthly news conference on Thursday, Cox reiterated his opposition to the plan.

“My opinion on student loan forgiveness hasn’t changed,” Cox said.

Instead, he said, the focus is on how to make education cost effective.

He also proposed a tuition freeze for Utah’s higher education institutions.

“We don’t have to raise tuition next year,” Cox said. “If you’re looking for a topic … that’s what I’m going to offer, it’s a tuition waiver, across the board, this year.”

That statement by Cox was quickly followed by questions about whether the Utah system of higher education would participate in such a plan.

“They will,” Cox said with a smile.

After the news conference, the Utah System of Higher Education responded.

“The Utah Board of Higher Education annually reviews tuition and fees at Utah’s 16 public colleges and universities, and is most concerned with making college affordable for our students,” Utah Board of Higher Education Chair Lisa Michelle Church said in a statement.

“As the governor has said, inflation is affecting the finances of individuals and families nationwide, and we are committed to doing everything we can to make higher education accessible to Utah students. We will work with Gov. Cox and the Utah Legislature on this proposal next year,” Church said.

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Logan Stefanich is a KSL.com reporter covering Southern Utah communities, education, business and military news.

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