Funding down, tuition up

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Messenger Intern

Troy State University’s 2002-2003 tuition has been fixed at a 6.7 percent increase, and parents and students will be receiving the news this week in their mailboxes.

The increase will mean an additional $100 per semester or $1,610 for full-time resident students.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

"State universities in Alabama continue to be under-funded resulting in loss of quality faculty members to other states, larger class sizes and operational cost increases being shifted to parents and students. This pattern impacts your university and our students," John Schmidt, vice president of student affaris, wrote in the letter that was sent to students this week.

The TSU Board of Trustees attributed the need for a tuition increase to partially offset the effects of diminishing funding.

The student activity fee will also be increased from $96 to $108, but this increase is earmarked to construct a new student recreation building on Elm Street.

The technology fee will be increased from $42 to $48, and these fees will support technology needs on campus, such as residence hall connections and a new campus e-mail system.

Although the cost of the meal program was increased by 4.2 percent, housing fees were unchanged from last year.

As of now, no programs will be cut from the existing curriculum, according to Schmidt.

"Cost increases are always unwelcome. At the same time, our intent is to provide a quality educational and residential experience," Schmidt said.

Last year, the university boasted the smallest increase in the state at 6.2 percent, and, even this year, students were spared of the steep increase some other schools faced.

Auburn University will face the highest increase of 12 percent, while South Alabama will get the lowest at 6 percent.

Last year, the only program to be cut from the curriculum was the Prep Bowl.

According to the Southern Regional Education Board 2001 report, students and families carry a greater financial burden in the some southern states. The average Alabama family spends 8 percent of its income on tuition and fees, whereas the average national family spends 7.7 percent.

Although it is too soon to forecast fall enrollment figures, external indicators, such as IMPACT and applications, are up compared to previous years. The goal for fall enrollment is 1,600 new students and 800 applications have already been turned in.

The cost of tuition at Alabama’s four-year public universities has risen 41 percent in the past decade, according to the National Status Report on the Affordability of American Higher Education.

According to the university web page, lab fees at TSU run an average of $600 per year, depending on your major. Most would say this seems like a lot, but in comparison to other colleges in and out of Alabama TSU seems inexpensive. The University of South Alabama and the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa lab fees can run up to $1,000 per year.

The tuition increase will also apply to students at TSU campuses in Dothan, Montgomery and Phenix City.