JUNEAU, Alaska — University of Alaska officials have discussed increasing tuition by 5 percent annually for the next two years.

The university has been slowly raising its tuition since it lost $61 million in state funding and experienced a 14 percent decline in enrollment in 2014, KTOO-FM reported (http://bit.ly/2fdO1jX ). Tuition was increased by 5 percent last year and the University of Alaska Board of Regents discussed increasing tuition again during meeting on Friday meeting in Juneau.

With its tighter budget, the university has had to eliminate 50 academic programs and cut more than 900 faculty and staff positions.

Students are aware of the rising costs and have come to expect them because the budgets of the state and the university are strained, said Colby Freel, chair of the Coalition of Student Leaders.

“We want our education here in Alaska, we want to receive the quality learning that we get, so we’re willing to pay for it,” he said.

University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen has announced he will donate the $50,000 compensation the board of regents recently approved for him to the university for student development and cultural initiatives.

The board of regents will have a final vote on the proposed tuition increases at its November meeting.

Information from: KTOO-FM, http://www.ktoo.org

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