Is the U’s tuition too high? Yes, the Legislature has an obligation to fund the U

By By Jessica Fawson and By Jessica Fawson

By Jessica Fawson

Tuition is on the rise, again. Just like last year and the year before that. In fact, tuition has been rising since at least the year 2000.

Despite all efforts to stop it, tuition at the U keeps going up-and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon.

There is no point to public education if eventually only the wealthy can to afford to go.

In 2000, the tuition for 12 credit hours at the U was $1,220. Five years later, it has risen to $1,812.

In the last year alone, the amount paid by resident undergraduates taking 12 credit hours is $126 dollars more per semester than last year.

I hope students have jobs that give them raises equivalent to that chunk of change every semester, because this trend isn’t going to change anytime soon.

If tuition continues to rise at the same rate it has been, by the time this year’s entering freshman are seniors, tuition will be around $2,500 for a mere 12 credits.

The inevitable consequence of such dramatic increases in tuition is that eventually some students will simply not be able to afford to go to college.

Education is the key to higher-paying jobs. If tuition at the U rises beyond the means of the residents of Utah, this means that the poor will just stay poor, unless they receive a rare scholarship.

Some people must truly work all day to pay the bills, and in the end don’t have enough money to continue dishing it out to the U-especially if there’s no end in sight to tuition increases.

If we don’t want people on state assistance in the future, we must educate them enough to have the skills necessary to help themselves. The state Legislature needs to stop being so shortsighted and start funding the U properly.

One of the reasons our tuition increased this year is because our friends on the hill decided not to approve money earmarked for our fuel and power. They don’t want to pay for our electricity, so we’re footing the bill through one of those miscellaneous fees we get to pay.

Our state legislators need a wakeup call. Our education is important, and as the flagship university in the state, they have an obligation to keep up with our growth. Something needs to change. As our student population expands, we aren’t even paying more money for smaller classes-we are paying more money to be in ever-larger classes.

We obviously need more teachers and more money, but raising tuition astronomically every year is not the answer.

There must be another way to fund education than by merely making taxes higher as well.

Smarter allocation of funds already given to our government is the answer.

We, as a society, cannot afford to make our public universities unaffordable. Simply put, if we keep raising tuition, some amazing people who could do amazing things won’t be able to attend.

We must keep our public education system affordable to the masses. Public universities are meant to be just that-public.

If the U continues to raise its tuition, it might as well abandon its mandate to educate the citizens of Utah and become a private institution.

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