Tuition spike shows split nature of University’s administration

Zach Murphy, Contributing Writer

It comes as no surprise that many institutions of higher learning across the United States want to provide their students with the best education possible. Here at the University, the same holds true, as the University often tries its best to provide students with an exceptional education, one that will follow and guide them for the rest of their lives. But at what cost should an education come? While the University says it is an advocate of the students and equality, a recent spike in tuition shows otherwise.


Beginning next semester, a full year as a Bison without financial aid will cost approximately $72,000. For reference, the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics gives an annual median individual income at $31,099 as of 2016. In other words, it would take more than two years of working without any expenses to afford one year as a student here. Realistically, this time gap can be larger, with three to four years of working required at this level for one year of study. Such a disparate gap shows that the University is already operating at unrealistically high costs for the average single American, so why raise the tuition?


Whatever the University’s intent may be, its decision to raise tuition shows how little thought is given to underprivileged students here, as this demographic will be affected the most. Many students already have debt, which more often than not will follow them for years – if not decades – after graduation. The simple fact is many students cannot afford to come here, and regardless of how much the University may deny this by claiming that financial aid is always an option, the cost of attendance likely deters many potential students from even applying.


Right now it seems that the University is trapped in an identity crisis. On the one hand, it claims to be a place where anyone can come and learn, while on the other hand, its fees and tuition show that only the rich are really wanted. Whatever the University’s philosophy may be, it needs to end the games and be real with the people. If this is truly a school of equality and diversity, then tuition fees must drop. If, however, the fees never drop but only rise from now on, then the University needs to admit to what it really is: a place for the privileged.


I hope that one day the University becomes a place for anyone. I hope that there is a future where any bright person, regardless of privilege, can earn a degree here and become successful in whatever path in life they take. Unfortunately, the trends I see taking place today show a future where this is never the case. Hopefully, this University can change, but whether or not this will happen depends on the current decisions of a seemingly split administration.

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