There always seems to be someone talking about something.
And for Western Carolina University students, that something is the tuition and fee increases for the next academic year.
Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Sam Miller, co-chair of the Tuition and Fees Committee, has been instigating that chatter for months now, and it is all culminating into a list of proposals to be sent to the university Board of Trustees. The board will be voting on these proposals before the end of the fall semester and there is a lot of information to process.
It’s safe to say students had questions.
Dr. Miller provided some much needed insight into those questions. And he did so by addressing the increases regarding student housing.
But before we get into that, let’s start with the critics.
I took to the social media hub, Facebook, to get the ranging opinions of the Western Carolina University population.
Senior psychology major James West said he was glad he was graduating this semester because he “would consider dropping out” since the “increases are ridiculous.”
Sophomore elementary education major Jessie Shearin said “we don’t have enough housing as is” and “raising housing needs to only be done when more is built.”
Both viewpoints make a valid point.
But there is so much involved. And that is putting it lightly.
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
The Tuition and Fee Committee is looking for a 3 percent increase across the board in residential living fees. In addition, the committee aims to increase the rates for the Walker, Scott, Buchanan, and Albright/Benton residence halls by 5 percent.
The total annual cost including food and housing will increase by about 3 percent overall for in-state students and about a 5 percent increase overall for out-of-state students.
The room rates support the residential living department, which receives no funding from the state of North Carolina. Western Carolina also doesn’t receive any tuition funding. Everything that has to do with the residence hall system is paid for out of the room rates, and all of those expenses are factored in. [Read more...]