Freezing weather? Try freezing tuition rates

By on January 14, 2016
Student Opinion

By Nick Amon–

With the beginning of the spring semester underway, many of us have already visited the dreaded Bursar office to pay our skyrocketing tuition fees. As if these tuition prices weren’t steep enough, the increasing prices of meal plans and student recreation fees also take a significant toll on our pockets. As we shell out more and more dollars, it seems as if the never-ending cycle of tuition increases will be a burden students have to face for years on end. Luckily, one State Senator Dan Seum, a Republican representing Jefferson County, thinks tuition increases have gone on far too long, and in return intends to lessen the weight thats been placed on student’s finances over the years.

A report stemming from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities claims that Kentucky has cut higher education spending per-student at the highest rate of any other state in the country. In comparison to higher education systems across the country, the tuition for public universities in Kentucky has risen more than 45 other states. Who is to blame for these distasteful rises? The universities themselves.

Although U of L spokesman John Karman released a statement claiming the university understood “the financial burden that tuition can impose on students and families,” it doesn’t seem as if they do.

State Senator Seum said, “I think the universities have seen these kids as nothing more than a cash cow.” I’ve seen tuition rates callously increase over my years here at U of L first-hand.

So of the two, who do I believe more, U of L or Seum? Easy. I believe the one seeing things for how they are, instead of the one attempting to empathize with students while simultaneously draining their bank accounts.

Now although I may be a tad quick to jump the gun and consider Seum as our savior, I think his logic is still admirable.

Unfortunately, not everyone believes Seum’s ideas are as feasible and are quick to mention the large budget cuts that Kentucky’s state universities have faced over the years as a rebuttal. I understand their point, and I don’t necessarily disagree. Since 2008, the state legislature has cut higher-education funding by a staggering $173.5 million. Since our tuition rates have risen to compensate for these cuts, they’ve not only affected the universities, but also students.  It’s time the universities stop looking to the finances of students to bail them out of these budget cuts and look toward more innovative ways of regaining their losses.

With in-state tuition at roughly $5,300 a semester for U of L students, I think it’s fairly easy to side with Senator Seum on this issue. Although his proposed bill of freezing public university tuition rates for four years may fall short of enacting any change in the near future, the message it resonates is greater than ever.

About Nick Amon

Nick Amon is the Opinion Editor for The Louisville Cardinal, all views and opinions are of his own. If you have an opinion of your own that you'd like to see in The Cardinal, email him at namon@louisvillecardinal.com

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