Postponed tuition model sparks debate amongst students

By Julian Ruiz

KU  had been considering changing its tuition model from a flat rate charge to a per credit model. This opened up a heated debate amongst students, seeing as some students would remain unaffected or even pay less, while others would have to pay a higher tuition.

The proposed model was recently postponed, at least for the 2015-16 school year. The news was shared via a mass e-mail sent to all KU students, faculty and staff from the university’s acting president, Carlos Vargas.

Before the decision to postpone the model was made, Matthew Santos, director of University Relations at KU stated that the proposal will “likely not be put into effect.” He went on to say, “The State System Board of Governors agreed to freeze tuition if Governor Wolf increased funding by 45.3 million dollars a year for the next two years.”

If passed, the new tuition model will see undergraduate students paying per credit as opposed to the current flat rate charge. An average 15-credit semester will cost approximately $3,960, compared to the current flat rate of $3,410. If any undergraduate student chooses to take more credits than 15 in a semester, they will pay an additional $264 per credit.

Even though the model won’t be put into effect for the upcoming school year, it has opened a debate amongst the student body. While some students are for the new tuition model, most are heavily against it, citing it as unfair and ill thought out. Santos also went on to say, “students were not supportive of the model, due to increased expenses for them.”

After finding out that the model was postponed, Jackie Valori, a sophomore at KU, stated, “I’m grateful. I can’t even afford tuition now.”

Nicholas Troisio, a junior at the university felt the same way saying, “it’s a very good thing they didn’t do a per credit tuition.”

Before the model was postponed, students still did not like the idea of it.When asked about the model, Nicole Malack, a junior at KU stated, “it makes students of low income not want to take more than four classes and then they won’t be able to graduate on time and spend more money for staying extra semesters.”

Brian Faber, a senior at KU, felt differently about the new model stating, “as someone who has taken less than fifteen credits for the last two semesters, I see how it can be beneficial. If there were a per credit tuition model in place I would have taken more classes this semester.”

Setrag Shahikian, another senior at the university was in heavy favor of the university’s proposal, “I have faith in the administration. They wouldn’t make a decision if it would screw everyone over. It seems a la carte and I’m fine with that.”

According to Matthew Assad, Student Government Board treasurer, the survey conducted by the SGB on the student body’s opinion of the new model showed that, while a large majority of the school disagreed with the proposal, there was still a large percentage of students in support. Of the 552 students surveyed 78 percent were against, while 12 percent were for the model. 11 percent were undecided.

At least for the upcoming school year, and until the tuition freeze set by Governor Tom Wolf is lifted, KU students will still have their flat rate tuition.

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