Mystery of our money

With a potential 5.8 percent tuition increase looming, The Cynic would like some more information.  Specifically, where does our money go?   We assume it goes to professors’ salaries, building maintenance, transportation, housing, but in what percentages?  How much of your money is going to your favorite English professor the custodian who cleaned the vomit off your floor?   The answer is: We don’t know.     There is no easily accessible and comprehensive breakdown of where students’ money goes.  The only method of tracking your money is through students’ credits and their room and board.  Everything else is rather hazy.     And if you doubt the haziness, then consider some of the rumors that float around campus.   Maybe you’ve heard that it’s OK to steal silverware from Cook Commons because there is a fee for stolen items already included in the tuition we pay?  Or perhaps you’ve heard that the “free” hockey tickets have in truth already been purchased in full by the student body?   Are these rumors true? Again, we don’t know.  And we don’t know, because there is no comprehensive breakdown of money flow after you sign and mail your check.  Perhaps some tuition money should be invested in flow charts.  Then again, maybe it already is.   For many of us, going to college involves loans that we will be paying off for the forseeable future.  We shouldn’t be guessing as to where that money goes.     Yes, it would be a challenge to pull the information together for each situation taking into account financial aid and scholarships. But if we had the breakdown for a full paying in-state and out-of-state student, we could do the math ourselves when it comes to our individual discounts and aid.   It is in the administration’s best interest to make it clear where our money goes.   If students can be positive the University is spending their cash wisely, it may curb their anger at another tuition hike.   Transparency would also help in attracting students to come to UVM.  It shows them what they would be paying for.  It would also show that the University is open and honest when it comes to the student body.   However, if the administration is hesitant to make this information easily accessible because they believe students will be concerned with some of their spending practices, then there is an even bigger problem.