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Texas colleges, universities bracing for deep budget cuts

Layoffs, tuition increases, larger classes in the offing, higher education leaders fear.

When state officials ordered public colleges and universities in May to prepare budgets that are 10 percent leaner for the upcoming two-year spending cycle -- on top of 5 percent reductions already imposed -- higher education leaders hoped that would be a worst-case scenario.

Now that the state's projected budget shortfall for 2012-13 has soared to more than $24 billion, colleges and universities would be lucky indeed to get by with 10 percent cuts when lawmakers gather in Austin next year to write spending plans.

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