Students Speak Out About Mid-Semester Tuition Hike
When the University of Mary Washington Board of Visitors approved a mid-year tuition increase on Nov. 20, most students were not aware of the change.
“I had no idea that that was happening, until someone brought it up,” senior Ashley Jacoby said.
On Nov. 20, the BOV approved a tuition increase that will be in effect for the spring 2010 semester. The tuition will increase $100 for full time students. Part time students will see an increase as well with an $8 charge per credit hour. Graduate students will be charged $12 per credit hour.
Students are still finding out about the mid-year tuition increase from fellow students and in classes. There has been no formal e-mail sent out to students regarding the increase, though an official university-issued press release is on the UMW Web site.
Senior Tashina Gorgone read about the tuition increase on the UMW Web site after hearing about it by word of mouth.
“I heard about it in my linguistics class,” Gorgone said.
According to the press release, the increase in tuition is due to recent state-level budget cuts. Since 2007, more than $6 million of state funds have been cut. The mid-year tuition increase will generate $435,000 in additional revenue, which will go toward academic programs and providing more need-based financial aid, the press release stated.
The mid-year tuition increase has left some students confused and frustrated. Senior Beth Babcock questioned why the BOV didn’t ask the students for their input.
“It seems a little like taxation without representation,” Babcock said. “Its all the matter of the BOV raising tuition without any input from the students.”
Babcock said she is also confused about why tuition will be raised in the middle of the year instead of the beginning.
“I don’t understand why this is happening halfway through the semester,” she said. “It would have been wiser to wait until the end.”
Senior Jay Mahan shared similar sentiments.
“It’s a smack in the face to students, because most of us have to secure out funding at the beginning of the year. Its disrespectful,” Mahan said.
Both Babcock and Mahan said they never received an email regarding the BOV’s decision, which added to their frustration with the situation.
This is not the first time that tuition has been increased in the middle of the year. According to the press release, in 2002 UMW had a mid-year tuition increase of $255.
William and Mary decided to raise tuition next semester by $300. When comparing UMW’s mid-year tuition increase to William and Mary’s, as well as the tuition increase in 2002, Gorgone was surprised.
“I’m surprised it didn’t go up more,” Gorgone said.
Senior Julie Burns is not surprised that tuition will be increasing next semester.
“Obviously, it’s going to go up sometime, so it might as well be now,” Burns said.
Although Jacoby did not feel well-informed regarding the tuition increase, she remains indifferent to the situation.
“As long as that extra money goes toward benefiting the school, I guess it will be okay,” she said. “It’s better compared to other schools where tuition is higher.”