Students criticize tuition increase

Anne Preller

Morale on campus has sunk for some of the student population after the Board of Regents announced an almost certain 13.8 percent tuition increase.

With the increase, students will be paying $659 more for the 2001-02 school year. Many students are concerned they will pay more when they say they already feel overcharged.

“It seems like we are overcharged for everything. We’re overcharged for tuition, for parking, for books. Where is all this money going?” said Beth Nelson, a senior studying architecture.

“I am living in the dorms and the conditions in the dorms are just not worth it. The meal plan is just not worth it,” she added.

Anne Hake, also an architecture senior, said, “I’m not happy about the increase, but I am glad I’m not a freshman.”

Casey Buboltz, a political science junior, said he is indifferent to the tuition increase.

“I am from Wisconsin so it
doesn’t really affect me,” Buboltz said. “But I do think it will help the University look at more ways to make the place as efficient as possible.”

University students with Wisconsin reciprocity could also see a tuition hike, although it would be smaller than in Minnesota. A representative from the University of Wisconsin Madison’s Registrar’s Office said Wisconsin tuition might rise five percent to ten percent this fall if a school committee votes in August to do so.

The University’s tuition increase does not seem to be keeping prospective students from enrolling.

Nicole Bretall, a high school senior, is taking two classes and living on campus through the University’s Summer Honors College.

“It makes my summer more stressful because I have to find more scholarships,” Bretall said. “But it doesn’t change my decision to come here.”

Bretall attends A.D. Johnston High School in Bessemer, Mich. She said her family is middle class. When she enrolls at the University next fall, she will pay out-of-state tuition.

The tuition increase also won’t stop Tara Regenold from returning to the University to pursue a degree in biology.

Regenold graduated in the spring with a journalism degree. Currently she is taking seven credits and plans to take another 12 in the fall.

“I probably will take out loans. I was going to anyway, but this gives me all the more reason to do so,” Regenold said. “I don’t live on campus. I have a mortgage. I guess I’m not a typical student anymore.”

Most of the University student population aren’t typical college students.

According to Boynton Health Service’s 1998-99 annual report, only 16.4 percent of the University’s student population does not work.

Paul Sandager is a senior in the Carlson School of Management with ten credits left before graduation.

“I think it’s way too much. I pay for school myself and I take out loans and I work, but my salary didn’t increase by $600,” Sandager said.

Minnesota Student Association President Dan Kelly said the University was in a tough situation.

“The ‘U’ is a public good and the University must find new and innovative ways to show this to Minnesotans,” Kelly said.

While a tuition increase might not cause students to immediately rush for transfer forms, it is prompting some to question the institution and if it truly is looking out for students’ best interest.

The Board of Regents will vote to make the tuition increase official at its July meeting.


Anne Preller covers student life and welcomes
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