Alternate avenues needed to lessen impact of tuition

Students received an e-mail Monday from Chancellor Victor Boschini informing them of the tuition increase for the 2010-2011 school year, which will bring the university’s year-long tuition to $30,000.

Annual tuition increases are nothing new to current students and their families. Seniors who first enrolled in the fall 2006 semester faced a $22,980 tuition for their first year at the university. After two 8 percent tuition increases and one 5 percent increase, they are paying $28,250 in tuition. If, like so many students, they aren’t going to graduate in four years, they will have to pay $30,000 for their fifth year, which means that these fifth-year seniors will have seen almost a 30 percent increase in tuition fees from when they first arrived on campus.

Tuition increases may be common, but next academic year’s $30,000 price tag is a bit startling, especially given the country’s current economic condition. Many would agree that this tuition increase is too much and that it places a large financial burden on students and their families.

In the e-mail, Boschini noted that financial aid will be increased by the same percentage as the tuition increase. But for a student who gets $10,000 in financial aid, the 6.2 percent tuition increase translates to a mere $620 increase in financial aid, which still leaves a very wide gap between the financial aid they receive and the amount they have to pay for tuition. Students who receive less than $10,000 in financial aid will face even larger gaps.

The university should consider other avenues that would lessen the impact of continuing tuition increases, like implementing a set rate tuition in which students would pay the same tuition throughout their time at the university as they did when they first enrolled.

In Boschini’s e-mail to the student body, which provides a copy of the letter about tuition that will be sent to parents later this week, he wrote, “We are doing all that we can to make your student’s education the best possible.” While that is certainly something students are appreciative of, the university should be doing more to help students meet this financial burden.

Associate editor Logan Wilson for the editorial board.