New tuition proposal has too many loopholes
April 27, 2007
A new proposal for tuition cost was brought to our attention after an article written for this week's paper. Currently students taking 12-18 credits pay a flat rate, allowing students who want to take the minimum requirement to be a full-time student to do so just as easily as students wanting to graduate as quickly as possible by taking fuller course loads.
The new plan calls for students to pay per credit virtually punishing those students wanting or needing to take heavier course loads.
If taking only 12 credits per semester becomes all that some students can afford then instead of the four-year expectation for graduation, it will take five years to complete all 120 credits required by the University. And, that is only if every course in general education, liberal education, your major and minor fall precisely into place-which they rarely do.
As if worrying about the cost of college isn't already more than some can handle, now there is the added concern of whether or not taking one more class will break the bank.
This change in tuition should be a cause of concern for students, but apparently the program will begin with incoming students and it will be grandfathered into the system as a whole. This is just another inconsistency for students and administration to deal with.
Transfer students already have a difficult time dealing with transferring credits from other institutions, but now they also get to be grandfathered into a new tuition program.
There is no cohesive system here. Whether tuition is changing, policies are unclear or individual departments are reconfiguring, it seems that nothing is set in stone and there are more loopholes to jump through than guidelines to follow.
Another concern is about attracting students to UWRiver Falls. If the majority of other UW System schools are using the plateau system for tuition and we charge per credit, students may be turned off from coming here. We don't want to give prospective students a reason to turn away.
Many students want to have the opportunity to graduate as quickly as possible, but this system deters them from taking on as much as they can handle.
With the way our courses are set up it is even difficult for a student to take the bare minimum; some classes are five credits, while physical education courses are worth only a half credit. It seems that everyone is going to be forced to pay for more than just 12 credits.
This proposal is still in the very beginning stages, but already the inconsistencies make this change seem more negative than positive.
If the administration feels the need to hike up tuition, maybe doing a standard tuition increase would be more effective, and this way students won't go running for another institution.