Editorial, Opinion

STAFF EDIT: Smaller increase still hurts

Another year, another tuition increase for Boston University students. The 3.75 percent increase, which will bring tuition to a staggering $37,910, is relatively low compared to previous years, and it is encouraging to see that the BU Board of Trustees took into account the harsh effects the economy has had on students and their families. Some sort of tuition increase was inevitable, considering BU’s declining endowment and $10,000,000 budget gap.

The fact that this tuition increase is the lowest in 40 years is nothing special. There seems to be the trend this year among many upper-tier universities including Boston College, Syracuse University and Tufts University, all claiming that the rate of their tuition increase for next year is the lowest in decades.’ What’s more is that some universities with comparable tuition prices have done even better than BU at giving students a break with tuition costs. Tuition and fees at Tufts will have increased by 3.5 percent next year and at BC, the tuition was only increased by 3 percent. If these large universities were able to keep their tuition increases lower, then the question is raised as to why BU couldn’t do more to save students’ money.

In addition, the announcement of this year’s tuition increase has been managed poorly. BU President Robert Brown’s letter is nowhere to be found on the Internet, the increase has not been covered by the university’s news and information website, BU Today, and students did not receive an email notification. Many students have yet to receive their letters from Brown. In the interest of saving money, perhaps BU should not be wasting paper and postage for thousands of students, but rather give students and their families the option of receiving an email notice about the announcement of next year’s tuition instead.

The real question is how students are going to react to this tuition increase. If students continue to simply shrug off each tuition increase, even one that is smaller than usual, the increases will only continue. At some point, the trend has to go the other direction because as tuition prices continue to climb the middle class’s incomes simply won’t keep up. At the University of Massachusetts, students at every campus have been actively protesting against a proposed $1,500 fee increase. If any BU students are serious about wanting to keep tuition from becoming too unaffordable, then somebody needs to speak out, or the Board of Trustees will not have to think twice before raising the cost of a BU education even higher.

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