Tuition and fees forums commence

Students will have an opportunity to voice their concerns at the Tuition and Fee Forums at 5:30 p.m. today at the World Affairs Lounge in the University Center Underground.

The Tuition and Fees Review Committee composed of students, faculty and staff, met in mid-January to compose recommendations to UH President Renu Khator on tuition rates in the fall. Proposed tuition rates for the academic year 2008-2009 were not made available to the Daily Cougar.

"I have been asked to do some additional consultation in regards to the recommendations that we will present and I am in the process of doing that," Vice President of Academic Affairs Donald Foss, who heads the Tuition and Fees Committee, said in an e-mail.

While the committee was meeting in January, representatives of the Student Government Association Senate proposed a five-part plan to ameliorate the rising cost of tuition.

SGA President David Rosen and SGA Vice President Samuel Dike said they wanted to guarantee tuition for four years to incoming students, cap tuition increases at 6 percent, cut summer tuition in half, increase the financial aid availability for students with family incomes of $40,000 from $25,000 and freeze tuition for 2008-2009.

The committee agreed by consensus to recommend capping tuition increases at 6 percent for two years, offering courses at a "two-for-one" deal during summer IV and increasing financial aid availability to students with a family income of $30,000 instead of $40,000.

The Student Fees Advisory Committee, made up of students and faculty, will also make recommendations to Khator regarding the projected revenue of approximately $13 million in student fees for fiscal year 2009.

University departments utilizing student fees appeared at the SFAC hearings, which began Feb. 11 and ended Feb. 20, to provide budget information and request funds. The Athletics department, one of 33 fee-funded organizations, requested the most funds at $4.28 million.

No students attended the public comment times for the four scheduled hearings.

The Tuition and Fees forum will reconvene Thursday from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the in the UC Underground World Affairs Lounge.

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