Paying by credit hour
By: Cassie Glancy
Students may have to pay per credit hour beginning the fall 2014 semester.
A small group of University representatives will decide whether or not a change in the way students pay for classes will have positive outcomes. According to Provost Shirley Willihnganz, a decision is expected by Jan. 2014.
“It could potentially lower the cost of every credit hour, so that you are really paying more of a fair rate for every credit hour,” said Willihnganz.
If students have to pay for credit hour, then some of them could think more carefully before hitting the enroll button after they loaded classes in their shopping carts.
“Right now, students sometime register for courses and then the first week or two they drop them because they decide they did not like that one. The problem with that is someone else could have been in that class, but they were shut out of because someone who was not sure was.”
Currently, students do not have to pay extra if they choose to enroll in more than 12 credit hours.
According to Willihnganz, the university is currently paying for scholarships for many students. If U of L starts charging by the credit hour, the scholarship budget may have to increase. With budgets already being tight, this could become an issue. Engineering students, and others who are taking 18 credit hours a semester, could also be affected by the change.
It is commonly known that many students are graduating college burdened by debt. The Board of Trustees stated that 36 percent of U of L students have finished their degrees debt-free, but the university does not actively seek out all of those who are at financial risk. Instead, it is thought that the students need to be aware of how much money they are borrowing.
Scholarships that are given to high school seniors are well known, but some students overlook continuing student scholarships that financial aid offers.
“It is a challenge for our students to make the ends meet and managing every resource they can and knowing every scholarship that is out there, knowing every little twist to the financial aid process is very, very important and they have to take ownership, literally ownership to know all of the details since there are very few people who know them better than themselves,” said vice president of student affairs, Tom Jackson.
Kentucky gives out financial based on student need, but there is not enough money to meet the needs of every student. Although the financial plan is unclear for U of L, officials agree that the costs of college is greatly outweighed by the lifetime investment of having a degree.
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