Tuition rises while student fees fall

Carrie Laudie | News Editor | @carrielaudie

 

On Friday March 27, UVU announced student fees and tuition for the 2015-16 school year. There will be a slight decrease in student fees and a three percent increase in first-tier tuition. There will be no increase in second-tier tuition, for the second consecutive year in a row.

First-tier tuition is set by the Board of Regents and is a system wide increase to help with needs that are common to all places of higher education. Second-tier tuition, and student fees, are proposed by each institution individually and has to receive final approval from the Regents.

UVU proposed that student fees be lowered next year by $10 a semester, or from $364 a semester to $354 a semester. The university believes that this is the first time in its history where this has happened.  Student fees are proposed by UVUSA and then approved by both the Board of Trustees and the Board of Regents.

“It is relatively uncommon in higher education to see a fee decrease,” said Tyler Brklacich, UVU student body president in a press release. “We have reprioritized the use and purpose of fees while increasing the effectiveness of the program’s the fees appropriately fund. We’re appreciative to the state for putting us in a position where we can even consider something like this.”

The first-tier three percent increase in tuition would raise tuition by $68 a semester, or $136 a year. With the decrease in student fees this would make the net increase $58 a semester or $116 a year. This marks the lowest dollar amount increase in tuition since 2000-01.

“Tuition and fees are a balancing act. Our challenge each year is to strike that balance,” said UVU President Matthew S. Holland, in a press release. “Students expect a certain level of quality and don’t want to see the quality of their education take a hit. By the same token, we are just as committed to keeping the cost of higher education as low as possible for purposes of access and inclusiveness. We feel like this particular mix of first- and second-tier tuition and student fees satisfies both priorities and strikes a good balance this year at UVU.”

One factor contributing to such a low increase in tuition is that during the 2014 legislative session $50 million in ongoing funding was approved to help address recent funding inequities in Utah’s higher education system.

 

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