Keep tuition discussion public

  The administration may increase our tuition by 5.8 percent and we won’t be here to do anything about it.    Once again, the administration will be dealing with a controversial issue after students leave for the summer. Last year, the Board of Trustees waited to take action on two “high-profile items” until it’s meeting on May 21 and 22. At that meeting they elected to increase tuition four percent for the 2010/2011 academic year and they approved the Transdisciplinary Research Initiative. Both items were highly opposed by the student body. Conveniently for the administration, the student body wason vacation.  And why does the Board not want students around? Because the tuition hike is unreasonable. An increase of 5.8 percent is extremely high, especially when you consider how that percent increase is using the already higher tuition cost of the previous year, – it just keeps increasing exponentially. How can we be expected to anticipate large increases in tuition when we decide to come to UVM? The Cynic believes that the cost of tuition should be grandfathered in – in other words, the tuition you pay upon coming to UVM you pay your entire four years. George Washington University and Utah State University are two of the universities already using this system. Students are essentially locked in when it comes to tuition increases. It is an incredibly burdensome task to transfer after your first year, and transferring after two years runs the risk of not graduating on time at a different institution ? an even more expensive risk. Grandfathering students into the tuition they paid their first year is a very attractive solution; people know what they will pay throughout their years and can better prepare for financial costs. If a tuition increase of 5.8 percent were to occur every year for the next decade, out-of-state students would pay $57,342 in 2021, excluding room and board, and other fees. It makes sense that tuition increases every year, to keep up with inflation. Yet, the average tuition at public four-year universities has increased an average of 4.5 percent a year, nearly twice the cost of living adjustment that the Social Security Administration calculates. The Cynic, and students across campus, see the negative effects this tuition increase will have. We hope there are people out there who are willing to speak for the student body and make sure people who have called UVM their home do not have to find another institution because of increase in cost. We also hope those people can stick around to have their voices heard. If the administration is going to make an unpopular decision, they should at least be able to face the group that it will most directly affect — the students.