Students give tuition increase mixed reviews

Students will begin paying higher tuition after the Board of Regents unanimously approved a proposal on Monday to increase the rates by approximately 4 percent.

The percentage increase translates to an additional $13 per undergraduate semester credit hour or an additional $195.17 per semester for students who take 15 credit hours. The increase will be used to improve advising, hire additional faculty, increase financial aid and improve the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library but not all students approve of the decision.tuition_improved-again-300x289

“Any raise in tuition affects all of us, especially if you pay out of pocket or if you’re taking out loans,” said chemical engineering junior Daniel Sierra. “Any increase is going to put a bigger burden on us.”

Sierra, who finances his education through scholarships and loans, said the University could have used its current funds more wisely, instead of increasing tuition rates.

“I feel there are funds going where they probably shouldn’t be,” Sierra said. “We pay enough for the education we get. Not everybody has a full ride or is funded by the University.”

Sophomore pre-business major John Hounihan supports the decision to raise the rates, as state funding has dropped to 25 percent from 39 percent of UH’s budget in the last 10 years.

“It’s not like they’re wasting the money,” Hounihan said. “I feel like it’s a necessary thing that universities do, especially since we’re still an affordable school.”

The $10 million in additional revenue generated and the targeted improvements are designed to increase the University’s U.S. News and World Report’s ranking.

“It’s important to attend a university that is competitive with the other universities in the state. If raising tuition is one of the steps we need to take to get up there with those universities, it’s worth it,” Hounihan said.

Samantha Rodriguez, a single parent who works part-time, understands the need for the tuition increases but is concerned about the impact it could have on her daughter’s eligibility of scholarships at UH’s Children’s Learning Center.

“The issue is not just the tuition increasing for my education at a Tier One university, that’s expected,” Rodriguez said. “It’s just unfortunate that all the other factors are influenced by the financial aid and tuition rates.”

Sierra, Hounihan and Rodriguez were unaware of the proposal to increase tuition rates, despite the administration holding multiple public forums before submitting the proposal.

“I think it’s an insult to the students, who already have to pay a lot,” Sierra said. “This is the first time I’ve heard about any sort of increase, so the fact that I’m being told now is kind of upsetting.”

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