Tuition continues to climb as univeristy expenses rise

Photo Credit: Derek Torrellas

Andreas Yilma Special to the Southern News 

College students understand the importance to financially invest in their own futures. It doesn’t help when tuition has increased by almost 20 percent from the fiscal year of 2008 until the fiscal year of 2014. The rise of tuition for Southern students does not seem to be turning around.

Higher education in the whole state of Connecticut has increased by 4.4 percent or about $429 in the fiscal year of 2013 and 2014. Students and parents will have to continue to dig deep into their pockets or into the office of financial aid.

“Tuition went up only two percent for beginning of this past fall semester,” said James E. Blake, the executive vice president.

Blake wants students to understand that the cost of running SCSU goes up four percent every year.  Employee benefits, state unions and salaries have increased about three to five percent.

“I feel that it is unfair, some people can’t afford it,” said sophomore Rosanna Hayer. “I had to pay out of pocket.”

“The state support is approximately 38 percent of operating cost,” Blake said. “It was about 75 percent 25 years ago.”

No one can argue that inflation is affecting everyone’s cost of tuition. However, there is another factor people may not put into account. Blake said we’re in the northeast. SCSU may be more expensive than a college in Texas.

Along with tuition comes student debt. Connecticut is not doing too well in terms of student debt as well. According to the Institute for College Access and Success, the state ranks sixth in the nation in average student debt for 2013 graduates.

“$3 million was given to Southern for this fiscal year of 2015.” Blake said.

Whether or not this will be enough to help Southern students has yet to be seen. Connecticut’s average student debt was nearly $2,000 higher than the national average of $28,400.

“Well we do have a lot of schools,” Hayer said. “That is high.”

A group of CT legislators plan to voice support bill designated for $150,000 in matching state help to a program attempting to combat student debt.  The program would give money to Serve Here Connecticut. It is a privately sponsored enterprise that provides young adults with jobs. The employer receives $10,000 grant to cover the applicant’s first year salary. The applicant would also receive $10,000 to help with academic debt.

“If we can get more help. I think there’s a lot of extra fees that we do not need,” said Hayer. “The little things add up.”


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