Public Colleges Have Burned Through Nearly $10B in Stimulus Money

By KRISTEN WYATT | September 8, 2011 | 4:40 PM EDT

In this photo taken Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011, students shop for books for the fall semester at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo. CSU students are paying about 20 percent more this year, up to about $8,000 for in-state and $24,000 for out-of-state tuition. For many, that means extra roommates, second jobs or giving up dreams of studying abroad. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — America's public colleges and universities have burned through nearly $10 billion in government stimulus money and are still facing more tuition hikes, fewer course offerings and larger class sizes.

Many college students are already bearing the brunt of the cuts in their wallets as they prepare for their future careers.

Dan Hurley, director of state relations for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, says the next academic year is going to be the hardest one on record for cash-strapped colleges.

He says the higher education system has entered a phase in which cuts will begin to affect academics.

Public university systems used the stimulus to prevent deeper layoffs, maintain degree programs and keep campuses open and are now bracing for the end of the federal program.

Tuition hikes fail to stop cutbacks in higher ed