Staff Editorial

Proposed tuition raise sends wrong message

The old saying goes “when it rains, it pours,” and UH students are about to find out that isn’t limited to the fabulous weather we are currently experiencing.

On Wednesday, a UH committee approved yet another tuition and fees hike for next fall, this time raising the basic amount it will cost students to attend school by 3.95 percent, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Students weren’t the only ones to take issue with the increase, as State Senator John Whitmire — a Houston Democrat — made clear following the announcement.

“Enough’s enough,” Whitmire told the Houston Chronicle. “Every Texan, and certainly families with students or future students, ought to be outraged.”

Well, he hit the nail on the head.

Given the current economic condition this nation is in, this tuition increase will be another burden that will weigh on the heavy load students and parents already bear. That’s not even taking into consideration what effect this will have on the thousands of Houston’s laid-off workers, many of whom have become so frustrated with the job market they now give a second thought to going back to school.

How will those prospective students feel about bettering themselves? Perhaps they’ll think it’s not worth it.

Truth be told, it may not be worth it for currents students either.

Those paying upwards of $4,800 per semester for 15 hours now face an increase of nearly $190 just to continue their education. And that’s not including books.

At this point, an alternative method of bridging the budget gap needs to be explored. Whether it’s accepting more money from the federal government or cutting the salaries of non-essential employees, such as coaches, the buck needs to stop at the student’s wallet.

If the real objective of the University’s administration is to achieve flagship status, encouraging students to find cheaper options is not the way to go.

If most students had a say in it, this administration would be surprised by how many would prefer to go to a less expensive university with second-rate facilities and solid educational opportunities than the alternative.

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