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SGA proposes fee increase to fund study abroad scholarships

UH student Isabella Serimontrikul grabs photos during her study abroad excursion. Courtesy of Melinda Taylor/The Daily Cougar

SGA is proposing an increase in learning abroad fees in order to increase study abroad scholarships. | File photo/The Cougar

Students preparing to study abroad may soon get some extra help.

The Student Government Association had the first reading of SGAB-52001 Tier One Learning Abroad Initiative, which is proposing an increase to study abroad fees.

The initiative proposes increase the learning abroad fee to $1 per student per credit hour, meaning that a student who takes 15 credit hours will be charged $15 for that semester. The funds would go to a pool of monies that would help fund study abroad scholarships.

The current fee of $1 per student has been in effect since 2001 and has decreased the value of the learning abroad scholarship fee by 24.2 percent since then, according to the bill.

UH-Downtown and UH-Clear Lake charge their students $5 and $2 per student per semester, while other Tier One universities like the University of Texas and Texas A&M University charge study abroad fees exponentially higher than UH, according to engineering senator Clint Kirchhoff.

Former SGA Vice President Erica Tat, who co-authored the bill with Kirchhoff, said that the current $1 per student fee is “insufficient” to fund scholarships.

A push in study abroad initiatives comes after Provost Paula Myrick Short approved a $200,000 increase in funds to be allocated toward study abroad programs. The funds currently stand at approximately $300,000 a year.

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  • See, this is a much higher quality article about SGA goings-on than we saw for the 51st administration. Informative facts, a bit of extra research, credit given where credit is due, and most importantly, free of errors!

    • I completely agree. Our school newspaper articles are generally poorly researched and full of errors (factual and grammatical). It would help if they maybe paid their writers more than a pittance. They also come across as a mouthpiece for the administration.

  • Let’s tax everyone so we can allow a select group of students – who probably aren’t the ones working full time to put themselves through school – to go on adventures to foreign countries. We totally have our priorities in order here.

    • Change “aren’t” to “are”. It’s a need-based scholarship that enables students to study abroad who would be unable to pay for it themselves. We tout ourselves as a diverse and globalized university and yet we don’t even grant 1% as much assistance to needy students as A&M (a cesspool of cultural homogeneity) does to make it possible for them to study abroad, and as a result the fraction of our student body that does study abroad is similarly tiny. Something wrong with that picture?

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