September 2, 2016

Tuition increases – what a surprise

By Nick Amon —

The majority of us are beginning to slip into our weekly routines of going to class, grabbing food at the SAC and occasionally studying break at the library – constants many of us are familiar.

There’s another constant that students deal with in that goes more unnoticed. I’m not talking about the terrible health ratings The Ville Grill gets slapped with every year. This particular constant is the ever-so-redundant tuition increase.

The board of trustees recently met and passed U of L’s 2016-17 budget, which included a five percent tuition increase – an increase that’s been in contention since May. The increase is said to be offset by the “Credit for Credits” program that reimburses this five percent as long as a student completes at least 30 credit hours throughout the year.

Now if you’re a freshman or have a good amount of time here left at U of L before you graduate, I can understand how all this talk of the tuition increase doesn’t really seem relevant to you. But if you think this is the last tuition spike that you’ll see, my advice to you is that being naive isn’t a good look.

If you’re an upperclassmen and thinking about graduating soon with less than 30 hours left before you walk, it seems to me you’ll be looking at the requirements for the program the same way I’ll be – with a confused, blank stare.

Remember that valiant effort that students Kate Hall, Kaleb Fischbach and James El-Mallakh put forth towards halting the tuition increase by speaking out against the board before the budget was passed? Probably not, because nothing they said was even substantially taken into consideration, no matter how well they argued.

According to board chair Larry Benz, who initially opposed the tuition increase, our interests are still one of the board’s primary concerns.

“At the end of the day it really is about the students and the support,” Benz said after the budget was passed. Interesting – you would think if it was really about students, more consideration would’ve taken place in regards to their already excessively reached-into bank accounts.

This hasn’t been the first increase in tuition, and it definitely won’t be the last, regardless of the amount of assurance-seeking statements from BOT chairs. Regardless if you’re apathetic towards the entire situation or not, it’s sad that we as a student body have grown accustomed to having multi-million dollar universities piggy-back off of our dwindling piggy banks.

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