July 1, UVSC will take the next step in its evolution, becoming the newest university in the state. This long anticipated upgrade has prompted a lot of questions within the student body, and most of all they are asking, "How much will this cost me?"
Other than normal yearly increases, students will not notice a change in how much they pay, according to Linda Makin, the director of budgets for the school.
"The Board of Trustees, as well as the administration, is not expecting university status to be on the backs of the students," said Makin.
The state has allocated over 8 million dollars to offset the costs of university status, though the graduate programs offered at UVU will be more expensive than the undergraduate programs, Makin added.
According to Makin, the amount of the annual tuition increase has not yet been determined because the state legislature is still in session. A 4% increase is estimated for this coming year, but a final figure has not yet been decided on.
"It’s obvious that tuition is going to go up each year. That is just how it happens," said Shawn Gleason, a senior from Temecula California who is studying History and Political Science.
"The administration has told us not to worry about paying more when we become a university," Gleason added.
Though tuition may increase as normal, student fees will increase this coming semester as we transition to a university, said Kris Coles. Coles, who is the student body president for the school, reports to the Board of Regents, who determine tuition and policies for all of Utah’s higher education institutions.
Coles said that all activities sponsored by ASUVSC are funded by the student fees. Some activities work, and some don’t, including the recent flop of invited comedian Mo Rocca. Only a few hundred people attended the event that cost the student body over $20,000.
Admission to the event was free for students. Though events are planned to attract students, "we can’t please everyone. We try to serve the greater student population," said Coles.
UVSC has made national headlines in the past with controversial headliners like Michael Moore.
Joe Vogel, the academic vice president at the time, received a lot of criticism from the student body and community for planning the event. According to Coles, this type of controversy is something that Vogel’s successors have tried not to recreate.
"The student interests are our interests, and we will plan our activities accordingly," said Coles.
The largest of next year’s student fee increases will be going to the athletic department. Currently, students will be paying $82.76 a semester for the sports program alone.
Coles explained that the current student body is locked into a five-year contract, funding the athletic department with an annual increase.
"This is something that I would not have agreed to if I was president back then; unfortunately, we are obligated to honor that previous agreement," Coles said.
Each year there is a hearing called the "Truth and Tuition Hearings." This is a forum for students to know where their money is going, and to voice concerns about the allocation of their money.
"We would love to hear from the students," said Coles, adding, "The more students the better."
The hearing will be held Feb. 27 at 2:00 p.m. in Centre Stage in the Student Center.