By: Will VanOrder
‘Tuition Increase’ is commonly seen as one of the dirtiest combinations of words a college student can produce. Amid the constant topic of budget cuts from the University and State levels, a tuition increase may be necessary.
“I feel like a tuition increase would definitely help the university,” Junior Jameson Gallup said. “With students only being made aware of the potential cuts such as the equestrian team (which has not happened yet), I believe we need to be providing more for the University.” Jameson is a student of the College of Business, currently studying to obtain his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting.
At the most recent Board of Regents meeting, held Oct. 19, the regents discussed the potential for looking at another tuition increase proposal. The last proposal, which was voted on at the end of the spring 2016 semester, did not pass. The regents have also stated that they are not planning on increasing tuition in the middle of the academic year, so any discussions occurring would be in reference to the Fall 2017 semester.
“Even I weren’t still here to see the benefits of it, I would be in favor of the tuition increase,” Gallup said. “If it can help my school, then I want it to happen.” Gallup is not alone in his perspectives. Out of 100 students polled in Corbett, 64 stated that they were in favor of tuition increases of $200 or less. When the number was increased to $300, the majority defaulted to saying “no”, and by $500 there were no students in favor of the tuition increases.
“I think that a tuition increase would help students take their education more seriously,” Senior Stephen Brazil said. Brazil, a math major, is currently on a full ride scholarship. “I feel that there are many students who don’t understand the value of their education, and paying more for it would not only help the university but also potentially help them recognize its worth.”
When asked what the main reasons were for students being in favor of the budget increases, there were only a few given. The first and, most broadly stated reason, was that students in favor of the tuition increase are wanting to ensure that NMSU is able to continue providing the services and education it does at the same caliber. The second reason was student organizations could potentially be harmed if funding was decreased, a notion not wanted. The third reason was that many of the students in favor of the tuition increase are or are going to receive scholarship aid, so they felt the increase didn’t affect them as severely.
The main reason that students were against tuition increases greater than $200 was affordability. According to the report released by the Regents from their meeting on Oct. 19, the demographics at highest-risk of dropping out are those with low income. They have also stated that their main goal is retention, as it also plays a heavy role in the amount of funding the University receives. Although a tuition increase could potentially damage the statistics of these demographics, the four-year graduation rate of the university has increased by four percent.
According to a resolution which was unanimously approved by the regents, the expected budget cuts for the fiscal year of 2017 (Fall 2016-Spring 2017) will be roughly $12.7 million more in decreased spending, putting the three-year total (Fiscal years 15, 16, and 17) at just over $30 million.
Last Spring, students heavily voiced their discontent with a possible tuition increase on the horizon. With the budget cuts which have come about, are currently being dealt with, and are being theorized to come next year, it seems that students might have a different opinion on the matter.