U plans tuition hike

Tuition for undergraduates will probably go up about $150 next year, but that’s still cheaper than the national average, administrators say.

According to Paul Brinkman, associate vice president for budget and planning, administrators do not expect the Utah State Legislature to give the U adequate funding, forcing tuition to go up.

Despite yearly rises in tuition, the U is still well below the national average for state sponsored four-year institutions, Brinkman said.

Every year, the State Board of Regents suggests a tuition increase to pay for the general needs of all state institutions.

This year, the board is proposing a 4.5 percent increase to all Utah students. Of that amount, 4 percent would go to compensating faculty and staff for cost of living increases and the rest would be used to fund student aid.

To an undergraduate at the U taking 12 credit hours, that equates to $57. For 15 hours, it’s a $69 increase.

The percentage proposed by the board is known as a first tier tuition increase. Each institution is also asked to suggest a percentage range their school will raise tuition in order to make up for money not given by the state, called a second-tier increase.

U administrators estimated next year’s enrollment, the cost of maintaining the U and the amount the Legislature will actually grant to propose a 5 to 7 percent second-tier increase.

That comes out to be around $120 to $150 for undergraduates taking 12 hours and between $150 and $175 for those taking 15 hours.

It is difficult to estimate how much more graduates students will pay because each graduate school’s needs are different, Brinkman said.

For the one out of 10 U undergraduates from out of state, nonresident tuition will increase between $425 and $515 for 12 hours and $510 to $615 for 15 hours.

Many students interviewed said their education is paid for by family or through grants and the increases, though upsetting, won’t effect them much.

Others like Steve Mikulich, a history major, said they’ll either have to borrow more money or take fewer classes to stay in school.

Josh Ruple, civil engineering, and Julie Callahan, psychology, both said it bothered them that the cost of education keeps increasing, but the quality does not.

Richard Kendell, state commissioner of higher education, made similar remarks in his report at Friday’s Regents meeting.

Despite the yearly raises in tuition to just maintain the university, Brinkman said last year’s 9.6 percent increase was still well below the national average of 14 percent.

Even if the U had to raise tuition the full 11.5 percent proposed if the Legislature doesn’t give enough money, it would still be about $1,000 less a year than the national average for in-state tuition, Brinkman said.

Knowing that makes Nate Soffe, pre-pharmacy, feel a lot better about the increases, he said.

Trevor Heaton, civil engineering, said he didn’t think that means anything because the economy and standard of living in Utah is different from the rest of the country.

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