New tuition system should be re-evaluated

Editor’s note: This story was revised for accuracy at 4:22 p.m. Nov. 19.

As tuition rates continue to rise at an alarming rate, it is time that university officials re-evaluate the flat-rate tuition policy that requires students to pay the same price for any number of hours from 12-18.

The plan was promoted as one that would encourage students to graduate on time, but it also lines the university’s pockets with money for nothing.

As a non-traditional student and a mother of two, it is not possible for me to take 18 hours and do well. But even for traditional students, many who have part-time jobs and extracurricular activities, it is just too much to expect.

And why then should we pay exorbitant rates for classes we are not even taking? In the latest notification of tuition increase sent out by Chancellor Victor Boschini, it is explained that tuition for students taking 1-8 hours will be $1,040 per hour and students taking 9-11 hours will pay $1,265 per hour. Bump it up to 12 hours and students end up paying $1,250 per hour over the course of an academic year. If the goal behind the flat-rate tuition is to graduate people sooner, it doesn’t make sense that students who are taking 1-8 hours get a tuition discount as opposed to full-time students.

Graduating on time is a reflection on the university, but so is poor performance and retention. Trying to force students to carry a heavier course load than they can handle only deprives them of absorbing all the information they have paid so much to learn. This is not any better than charging them for classes that they aren’t taking.

If the university feels that it is appropriate to raise tuition rates again despite the fact that we have an endowment of around $1 billion and are already over the national tuition average for private universities according to the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, OK – but at least charge everyone the same rate and only charge students for services they are actually receiving.

Katie Martinez is a junior news-editorial journalism major from Fort Worth.