The U should have a full-time tuition plateau

Editor:

As I read the article in the Chronicle (“How to shorten your stay,” Feb. 9), that referred to the long years that many students spend working toward a four-year degree, I could not help but think about something that has troubled me for some time.

Unlike most universities in this state, the U requires that students pay tuition for every credit hour taken. At most other Utah schools, once a student is paying “full-time” tuition, taking additional classes does not increase the cost of tuition paid-there is a price plateau at 12 credits. Changing this policy at the U would likely help two issues the university is dealing with.

First, a full-time tuition policy would encourage students to take more classes during a single semester because it would be cheaper.

Our campus has a reputation for being relatively dead, as far as university campuses go, due in large part to the number of commuter students who live away from campus.

The recent proposal for a new rec center was one attempt at encouraging on-campus interaction. May I suggest another?

A full-time tuition price plateau would encourage students to take classes other than those required for graduation-fun classes like those offered by our ESSF department, such as kayaking, yoga, ballroom dance, etc. The ESSF classes that I’ve taken have been poorly attended, no doubt in part because students did not want to pay increased tuition.

Under this policy, students could take other courses that interest them as well-a foreign language, gardening or music class. These classes would increase the diversity and breadth of the students’ educations-by choice, not by a controversial mandate.

I think a tuition plateau is long overdue at the U and reiterate that if the cost of getting a degree in four years were significantly less than getting it in six, it would be a serious incentive to our cash-strapped students. It would also encourage students to broaden and diversify their education here.

I know a task force is addressing the issue of enrollment lengths, and I strongly encourage them to consider this in their study.

Eric MortensonJunior, Chemical Engineering/Business