Tuition hikes leave Coogs with questions

In today’s society, a solid education has never been more paramount or fundamental in the hopes of achieving the American dream. Unfortunately, the ever increasing cost of that education is sending the opposite message to the youth of America.

Every year, millions of students enroll in colleges and universities nationwide. They go off with bright hopes and dreams of what their futures might hold. What these scholars aren’t always aware of is the financial strain that they are potentially putting in their own paths and the mountains of debt they will have to inevitably repay.

According to an article on, “although the average increase in tuition and fees at public four-year colleges in 2010-2011 was 7.9 percent for in-state students and 6 percent for out-of-state students, 19 percent of full-time students at public four-year colleges and universities attend institutions that increased their published prices by 12 percent or more.”

Here at UH for example, students saw a 3.95 percent tuition increase approved by the Board of Regents in February. UH students will likely continue to see tuition prices go up as there is yet another proposal to increase costs for the board to determine for the 2012 fiscal year.

It is fair to say that large hikes in tuition have many academics second guessing the decision to pursue a diploma which may very well prove to not be worth it. So where does the madness end?

Now, of course there are always academic scholarships for those with the grades to qualify for them, grants for those the government deems financially eligible, and of course federal and private student loans for everyone else. But higher tuition means the need for more loans to make up the difference when you aren’t fortunate enough to have parents to pay for college. No matter how reasonable the interest of federal financial aid is, their private loan counterparts have rates immensely higher and outlandishly ridiculous., a website which pairs students with scholarships that match anywhere from their grade and major eligibility to how well they can write an essay, showed in an article published in 2010 that outstanding student loan debt, at the time of the article’s publication, exceeded total credit card debt with at least $830 billion.

According to Mark Kantrowitz, who wrote the article, the debt is divided into “Roughly $665 billion in federal education loans and $168 billion in private student loans”. He also said that “New student loan volume will exceed $100 billion for the first time in 2010-2011.”

Many students may find themselves wondering, if schools nationwide are increasing their tuition by so much and yet cutting budgets at the same time, where is the money going?

Should we have to pay so much to sit in over-crowded classrooms with desks that are falling apart, or have non-functioning equipment in the libraries? Every college student will be waiting with baited breath in the hope that eventually the increases will cease.

Amanda Keenan is a public relations sophomore and may be reached at [email protected].

1 Comment

  • When the state continues to cut funding for "state" universities [not UT or A&M] by billions of dollars, how else is UH supposed to get the money it needs? When the legislature had a $27 billion budget shortfall, who took it on the chin? Higher education.

    If you really want to know what is not fair, look up the Texas Permanent University Fund. It's a special chunk of money that ONLY is given to UT and A&M. It is against the law for that money to be given to any other schools. That's why they don't have to increase their tuition as much as UH or Tech.

    While it sucks, a 3.95% increase in tuition is modest in comparison to some schools. Maybe if we spent less time griping about the 'madness' of our tuition hikes, we could spend it griping to the legislature in Austin and our Governor, who is perfectly happy to crow about how awesome Texas government is in the hopes of becoming president. If you want to worry about something, worry about that…where will your student loans be if he's in the White House?

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