Tuition freeze realistic with state’s help
Despite the fact that Sam Dike’s term as Student Government Association president has ended, his efforts to improve student life continue to affect UH policy – specifically his five-point tuition plan that remains under discussion by the administration.
The first point of the plan is perhaps the most well-known, the tuition freeze for next year.
According its Web site, SGA describes the proposed 2009-2010 school year tuition freeze as a ‘Zero percent increase in tuition and mandatory fees for the next school year. The plan would halt the spiraling cost of higher education for all students.’
When asked about how the SGA transition has affected the plan, Vice President Prince Wilson responded, ‘It’s a good transition. Even before I came into office, I was informed about the plan.’
He also said the SGA’s pending negotiations with UH administrators largely depend on how much the state Legislature’s budget allots to the University and the economic conditions.
‘It all depends on the economic situation, with the economic crisis,’ Wilson said. ‘Hopefully it all works out.’
The Daily Cougar’s James Hale reported in ‘University could see more funding,’ (News, Monday) that Texas state Legislators have proposed an increase in UH funds of as much as 5.9 percent. Should the increased funds for the University pass the legislature, it would make negotiations for a tuition freeze more feasible.
UH has continually increased tuition and fees since the Legislature stopped regulating increases, which has made college less affordable for some students.
University administrators have signaled intentions to cap tuition for the next year at 5 percent, but the five-point plan goes further by having a zero percent increase in fees for the 2009-2010 school year.
A cap of a 5 percent increase is a better alternative to a larger increase, but if students are unable to afford college, then UH will lose enrollment. Even a modest increase in fees and tuition has the potential to dissuade enrollment in this economic climate.
The University administration has proven willingness to listen to the concerns of students who are struggling to afford tuition, and it is important that they continue to do so.
The last thing the University needs is for students to start dropping out or cutting back on classes to survive financially.
Chris Busby is a political science and English major and may be reached at [email protected].