Commentary: NU must become less “tuition dependent”

Last Thursday, Feb. 4 the Student Government Senate was presented with a rough outline of the university budget, which included a 5.3 percent increase in next year’s student tuition. It is of the utmost importance to continue making our institution top-quality in academics, as well as affordable.

Responsible increases are essential as the university makes strides in our pursuit of national academic excellence. I am grateful for the consideration the committee gave by proposing a $1.5 million of additional financial aid to meet the gap specifically for upperclass students, as well as additional funds given to incoming freshman.

It is important to create advancement in education with affordability in mind. If tuition were raised 5.3 percent every year, the difference in what students would be paying between their freshman and senior years would be an increase of more than 21 percent. On a long-term level, the University must become less tuition dependent.

Students cannot afford major tuition increases every year. Each new increase should not consequentially impact every student’s tuition.

Throughout the budgetary process, students’ voices were heard. Action was taken on both the service level, in programs like summer classes, the student center and making St. Anne’s, the University Parish, a useable student space, as well as on the financial aid level. We, the students, understand the complexity of this issue and in turn thank you for the time and consideration taken during this budgetary process.

– Christopher Kelley is Student Government Association Vice President for Financial Affairs.

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