Land of the rising tuition

By By Clayton Norlen and By Clayton Norlen

By Clayton Norlen

You may need to sit down for what I have to say: I’ve got some bad news.

No, your pet cat Fluffy hasn’t passed on. It’s worse than that: Tuition is on the rise, and it’s not going to be changing anytime soon unless you do something.

Now I know that isn’t really news to anyone. We’ve all had to come to terms with the fact that we’d be paying out the you-know-what for our so-called “education.” If we hadn’t, I doubt anyone would be here. The problem is that your education isn’t going to get any cheaper-but maybe, just maybe, we can keep it from outpacing inflation.

In a recent The Daily Utah Chronicle article by Victoria Johnson (“Tuition rises faster than inflation,” Sept. 14), Johnson reported that, on average, tuition has been increasing by a rate of 9.1 percent each year for the last five years. Now, you may have a kick-ass part-time job that is raising your salary by a whopping 9.1 percent each year, but I doubt it. So, unless you are blessed beyond belief, let’s make an effort to keep education affordable.

Here is how it can be done:

Let administrators know that you want the best bang for your buck. It breaks down to simple business: You give them money, they give you an education. Remember the saying, “the customer is always right?” It applies here, too. Demand that the administration provide the best education possible for the lowest cost. Encourage the administrators to save money on energy bills. And finally?

E-mail the Board of Regents and remind its members that you are their top priority. It is their responsibility to act in the best interests of the students here on campus, and you should encourage them to do so by keeping education affordable.

Don’t stop there. Take this message to the bigwigs on Capitol Hill. These are the people you elected to represent you in legislation. It is because of you they get a paycheck every two weeks-remind them of that.

Tell them that more money should be put into education because we could all drop out now and go wait tables the rest of our lives. I doubt Utah’s economy would be worth anything if that were the case. If you don’t remind them, I think they’re under the impression that nice roads and parking at Capitol Hill is the better investment.

Let Capitol Hill know how important affordable education is to you, because they don’t really take our age group seriously. They think that our opinion doesn’t matter because we aren’t known to be reliable when it comes time to vote.

Now, I know a lot of you will read all this and say, “Well, tuition really is getting pretty expensive.” Then you’ll notice the cute girl or guy across from you on the shuttle and forget all about tuition and how much it sucks.

But, maybe when you get home, you’ll find the time to log off MySpace and send a few e-mails to the people who can keep your education affordable.