Tuition Price Tag to Increase by More Than 6 Percent

The issue of affordability versus quality is one of the debates facing the University of Vermont.

“If an institute were to lean on the affordability side, there would be virtually no tuition increase,” John Hughes, provost of the University of Vermont said. “Likewise, lean too much on quality, and there is a risk of creating frightening prices.”

For about the last 10 years, the rise in tuition has been marked at around a steady 4 percent.

Next semester, the increase rises to 6 percent. The decision is governed by the Board of Trustees, which evaluates the needs of the University, versus the amount of money generated by tuition.

“Tuition per year is 6.3 percent,” Hughes said. “So even at 6 percent we’re below the na-tional average.”

According to Hughes, 30 percent of all tuition immediately goes back into financial aid.

“It’s like the sticker price on a car,” Hughes said. “On average, you’re paying 30 percent below the sticker price on UVM.

UVM also measures inflation on a different scale than the average household, Hughes said.

Whereas the Consumer Index Price (CPI) measures the rate of inflation for the average household, the rate of inflation for institutes of higher education is measured in terms of the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI).

According to Hughes, this is because universities and colleges have different expenses, such as building maintenance, large scale payrolls and research funding.

As it stands, the rate of inflation determined by the HEPI is around 5 percent, Hughes said.

UVM only receives 4.2 percent of the 6 percent tuition increase; and Vermont is still below the growth rate of inflation determined for universities and colleges.

For out of state students, the cost of tuition is $26,000. With the 6 percent raise, these students are paying $364 more per year. The amount is lower for resident students.

Most students agree that a rise from 4 percent to 6 percent sounds daunting. After an explanation of the facts, how-ever, many showed support.

“If [the increase] would guarantee certain things, like livable wages, then I’m all for it,” junior Tyler Brannen, said.