Admins detail reasons for tuition hike

By Lana Groves, Asst. News Editor

Nick Shanin looked at the best universities nationwide and decided to attend the U for its renowned research and cheap tuition.

But after a couple years of taking science classes at the U, Shanin, a junior in chemistry, is transferring to another university because legislative budget cuts will likely increase tuition more than usual. He said there’s not enough upper-level chemistry classes to keep him here.

“These cuts are really taking a toll on the chemistry program,” Shanin said. “The education is suffering. We have one TA in a 180-student biochemistry class while in the past, we would’ve had five.”

U administrators discussed the proposed tuition increase with students Monday and detailed how departments campus-wide are facing a 17.5 percent budget cut from the Utah Legislature. Without the increase, the U would need to cut back on programs, scholarships or other services students receive.

“We’re trying to balance the university’s needs while not being detrimental to students,” said David Pershing, senior vice president of academic affairs.

Pershing explained to a roomfull of students that starting Fall Semester, tuition will increase by $233 for 15 credits, which includes an increase in mandatory student fees.

The increase is 3 percent more than last year, but Vice President of Budget and Planning Paul Brinkman said it could go down in the next few years based on a trend from 2002 when tuition also rose 9 percent.

Even if tuition rates increase by the same amount every year, U students said they still find it less expensive to attend the U than some other schools.

“Back home in Georgia, in-state tuition is $8,000,” said Paulina Moller, an undecided freshman at the U.

Another U student, Ben Evans, said he won’t be affected by the rising tuition since he’s graduating in May with a degree in accounting, but he still thinks students are going to struggle next year to afford school.

“If they don’t increase tuition, the school will go downhill,” Evans said. “They are getting less money from the Legislature, so costs will have to go up. It sucks though.”

Pershing said the U is setting aside $700,000 in need-based scholarships and $600,000 in academic scholarships for students, which they can apply for through the Free Application for Financial Student Aid.

Pershing said that some students will have trouble affording the additional tuition, but the best thing for students is to complete their education and find a good-paying job.

“The last thing you should do is drop out of school just because you can’t afford it,” Pershing said. “Just think what you can do with your college degree.”

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