U Proposes 3.8 Percent Tuition Hike

%28Vice+President+of+Academic+Affairs+Ruth+Watkins+presents+a+plan+for+a+3.8+percent+increase+to+tuition+at+the+Marriott+Library.+Photo+by+Chris+Ayers%29

Chris Ayers

(Vice President of Academic Affairs Ruth Watkins presents a plan for a 3.8 percent increase to tuition at the Marriott Library. Photo by Chris Ayers)

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(Vice President of Academic Affairs Ruth Watkins presents a plan for a 3.8 percent increase to tuition at the Marriott Library. Photo by Chris Ayers)
(Vice President of Academic Affairs Ruth Watkins presents a plan for a 3.8 percent increase to tuition at the Marriott Library. Photo by Chris Ayers)

In 1990, it cost $1,884 for undergrads to attend the U. Now, those same credit hours cost $7,876.

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According to a public hearing held in the Marriott Library last Tuesday, the cost will continue to increase. Ruth Watkins, senior vice president for Academic Affairs, presented a proposed increase of 3.8 percent for resident students and 3.6 percent for non-residents. For residents taking 12 credit hours, that’s an additional $300.

Last year, the U increased tuition by 5.8 percent – an extra $350 for a full-time undergraduate. The year before, the tuition saw a five percent increase.

Watkins said the U has the least expensive tuition in the Pac-12 — which is good for students. However, to keep good faculty, spending must increase for better facilities.

Nearly one-third of the increase will go to salaries and benefits, and another 20 percent will go to faculty excellence/retention. Another 27 percent of new revenue will go to student support in the form of advisors and scholarship funds. The rest will be spent on utilities and maintenance.

The increases are just a proposal. The Legislature haven’t finalized a budget for the state or its universities. Cathy Anderson, associate vice president of Budget & Planning, said the U’s proposal is “likely to change” after the legislative session ends on Thursday.

Utah has decreased its funding for universities over the past 30 years. In 1985, the state funded 77.4 percent “of higher education’s Education and General costs.” As of 2013, state funding has decreased to 53.4 percent, according to a policy brief prepared for the Utah State Legislature.

Watkins said the decrease in funding is understandable.

“There are many many needs in the state, and frankly … Utah has stayed a better partner than others,” Watkins said.

For Watkins, tuition increases are all for the students.

“The thing … I’m the most worried about is student success and graduation rates,” Watkins said. “Graduating means you’re less likely to be unemployed, and will get into higher-paying jobs.”

[email protected]

@SeymourSkimmer

 

Proposed 2016 Increase:


-Undergraduate resident: 3.8 percent

-Undergraduate non-resident: 3.6 percent

-Graduate resident: 3.8 percent

-Graduate non-resident 3.6 percent.

Fee increase details: In affect spring 2015. $60 to Student Life Center, $1.68 to athletics, and $1.20 decrease to collegiate readership program.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]