Categorized | Opinions

On MnSCU tuition hike: is it fair?

Relative to a few articles recently written in the past few weeks in the University Chronicle about MnSCU’s plans to raise tuition for students enrolled in their schools, I would like to throw my two cents in the pot.

According to an email sent to me from Doug Anderson, Communications and Media Director for MnSCU, the plan for the tuition hike is to increase tuition for full-time college students by $145 a year and full-time university students by $205 a year in order to afford better state-of-the-art technology and equipment, and provide more internship opportunities for students. There are some other aids expected to come from the proposal, but these factors seem to be the highlight of benefits for the common MnSCU student.

What it sounds like is MnSCU administrators are looking out for students’ futures enrolled in their schools. But why would they want to put the costs onto the shoulders of the ones they’re providing a better education for?

It seems unfair to me that students are the ones being financially targeted in order to make such improvements for colleges and universities in the MnSCU system. Especially if students are struggling to pay tuition in order to enroll in their schools in the first place.

Granted, FAFSA provides financial aid for students to help cover costs for seeking an education after high school, but eventually these students, myself included, will need to pay that costs back after their college career.

Essentially, if MnSCU raises tuition costs, it creates a higher debt for students coming out of college. More often than not, graduates’ finances aren’t flourishing by any means, and tend to be relatively low. Not to mention if a college grad is having a tough time finding a career once completing their college education.

Is it fair to students for MnSCU administrators to raise the price of tuition? Let’s put some things into perspective.

According to an article in the St. Cloud Times, annual tuition and fees for an SCSU student was $3,814. By 2012, the cost has gone up to $7,179, which is faster than rising inflation.

In the same article, it said SCSU President Earl H. Potter III got a $288,550 salary plus a $14,250 bonus in 2012.

Again in the same article from The St. Cloud Times, according to Winona Rep. Gene Pelowski in a meeting with Gov. Mark Dayton, said many MnSCU administrators make larger salaries than he, the governor, makes.

Even though the tuition hike will affect all students enrolled in MnSCU schools, it does not mean everyone will get a taste of the proposal’s affects. All students will have to pay more to attend a school in the MnSCU system, but not everyone will use the updated technology, participate in an internship, and other purposes of the proposal.

Knowing many MnSCu administrators have a relatively high income, and the average college student not being nearly as wealthy, does this budget proposal to raise tuition for students still seem fair?

I simply think it is not. We as college students will already experience the crisis of having to repay student loans. By constantly raising the price in order to achieve a higher education, it seems like the large debt we’ll have to repay won’t even be worth what we’re going to school for, especially if finding a job out of college is difficult.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the benefits for which the proposal intends. I just believe it is time for MnSCU administrators to find another source in order to achieve such funds. Rather than wringing students enrolling in their schools financially dry in order to do so.

This post was written by:

- who has written 35 posts on University Chronicle.

I am a junior at St. Cloud State majoring in creative writing.

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