Last week, the Board of Regents discussed the need to raise student tuitions. In their finalized budget, they raised tuition by 2 percent for residents, and 12.5 percent for incoming nonresident students.
Tuition hikes are not preferable, but the needs of the University are also increasing. Earlier this year, the state Legislature approved cuts in higher education funding. Given the need to maintain important education standards, it’s important to understand that this tuition hike is necessary. It’s important, though, that the University continue to cut spending where it can to minimize the harm to students.
Furthermore, the University ought to increase the number of departmental and need-based scholarships to students that are high achieving.
The University has already cut $68 million in administrative costs since 2013, and plans to cut an additional $20 million by 2019. Cutting unnecessary administrators from the University is important and is an effective way of cutting costs. However, the University should tread carefully so as not to cut administrators for the sole reason of cutting cost. Efficiency and function should be kept in priority.
The University increasing its out-of-state is preferable to cutting substantial programs that advance education and research. Furthermore, the University’s out-of-state tuition being on par with other Big 10 schools maintains the University as a reasonable and affordable option for many students around the country and will fulfill their goals to remain highly competitive.