Being proactive in the wake of a tuition increase
Lynandro Simmons – General Assignment Reporter
Next year, the tuition at Southern is expected to increase as it does every year. The plan is a 4 percent tuition increase which means people will see their tuition rise from $10,079 to $10,482. For many students, the rising tuition may affect them, for others it may not even be noticed.
On the positive side, Patrick Dilger, in an effort to remain transparent, emailed students of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities to inform them about the increase. It was also positive that Dilger said that doubling the tuition in an effort to close a deficit will never be his plan. All of this shows that Southern has their students’ best interest at heart.
At Southern there are many opportunities to help make college more affordable. Scholarships, grants, and on campus jobs can help alleviate some pressure off of students paying for college. At Southern there are also financial advisors, one of which being Lewis DeLuca, who provides priceless advice for students experiencing issues in paying for college. If the tuition increase does cause problems for anyone, DeLuca is one of the best people on campus to talk to.
Despite all of these factors one fact remains – an increase is still an increase. Sometimes when colleges increase tuitions, students do not understand why. Seeing is believing in this case and often students do not see where their money is going. This disconnect can cause resentment or anger for some students who feel their money is going to waste. Students already have a plethora of issues they have to deal with outside of school and keeping up with the costs of college only adds to their stress.
Over the years, the cost of education has rapidly increased. Student loan debt has become a national issue being heavily discussed. This, in addition to the fact that colleges are not able to guarantee students a career are pushing many out of higher education.
According to data released by National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, a non profit organization, college enrollment fell by two percent from school years 2014 to 2015 and 2015 to 2016. The decline in college enrollment has continued as tuition has increased.
There is also the issue of many students not being fully aware of the tuition increase, despite Southern’s efforts. Students often do not feel the blow to their pockets until it is time to pay their tuition the following semester. Some students will be forced to pick up extra shifts at their jobs or take out an extra loan to cover the slight increase. Students that are already working in addition to school, picking up another job or extra shifts means less time focusing on class work. Understandably, the university has to increase tuition to afford the many programs and services they employ. However, if students could see just where their tuition is going, the process would not be as painful.
Either way the price of college will continue to rise. In the meantime students should apply for as many scholarships and grants as they can.