By Natalie Risser

Student’s empty wallet     Photo by Brenna Everdale, The Keystone
Student’s empty wallet Photo by Brenna Everdale, The Keystone

A new model for tuition rates was presented to the Student Government Board in the hopes of better informing and collecting student opinions.

According to Jerry Silberman, the vice president for administration and finance, the revenues of families and the expenses of students are not lining up. This left the university with a loss of nearly $12 million in 2014. The new plan targets in-state undergraduate students, who are currently paying flat tuition rates past 12 credits.

With the new proposal, students’ tuition will be raised per credit by 3 percent of current 2015 prices. As the majority of the students register for 15 credits, this is a pressing concern for our wallets. The plan would make is so $800 more would be spent by students per semester. While students who take less than 15 credits will pay less tuition per semester, they will not complete their degree in the intended 4 year track.

While the university places great emphasis on delivering an outstanding education, this plan seems to limit students from taking classes outside their major or those who are aiming for degrees past their Bachelors.

Silberman said, “We can’t afford to give those classes away”.

Honors students, undecided majors and students that drop classes are directly affected by this proposal. These students may complete more or less than 15 credits per semester.

This model is being presented to the University Senate and Council of Trustees in the upcoming month – we, as students, need to actively engage in our spending habits. The main problem fueling this change is lack of government funding. Enrollment rates are leaving the “middle class” (in-state undergraduates taking 15 credits) of and the university to cover the slack.

Repeatedly we see this pattern on a national scale where “the money just isn’t there” and students are burdened with debt. Only one other in-state school is effectively using this system and two others have just been approved. Although this model is said to improve retention and enrollment with students, there has been no definite research to prove the same will happen at KU. If this model is approved, KU expects to gain over $4 million in extra revenue – you may gain an extra summer job.


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