Students voice concern over tuition increase

Dean Vaglia, Staff Reporter

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During the June 10 meeting of the Oakland University Board of Trustees (BOT), the Board unanimously voted to raise student tuition. The 4.4% increase — roughly $20 per credit — is based on then-yet-to-be-approved state funding as a part of the university’s “transparent pricing strategy.”

As the BOT raises rates on students, one can only wonder how the students feel about this change.

“[The tuition increase] is actually pretty disappointing, honestly,” said junior Abu Bangurah. “The reason why most people go to OU is because of its cheap tuition. Increasing by that much sort of negates some students from coming to this university, in my opinion.”

Prior to the June 10 increase, the average tuition for a full-time resident first-year student was estimated at $12,892.50. For the fall 2019 and winter 2020 semesters, full-time resident freshmen can expect to pay $13,462.50 — an increase of $570.

With a hike in price, students are expected to be curious about what their money is going toward. Junior Sanjay Antani speaks for the spending-skeptical students.

“I would not be opposed to a tuition increase if the revenue was allocated the right way, but they are not spending it properly,” Antani said. “They still have a parking problem. They can pay faculty and staff more. Places that need additional financial help are not getting it.”

While issues like the parking problem speak for themselves, faculty and facility spending can be expected to increase. A Bachelor of Science in nutrition degree that is expected to add 10 new courses was unanimously approved by BOT at the same meeting, alongside approving $78 million in upgrades for Varner Hall and the creation of a student athlete development center and basketball practice facility.

The BOT’s pastime of raising the cost of tuition is something well known to longtime students, according to senior Brandon Kuiawa.

“I am not going to say I like [the tuition increase],” Kuiawa said. “It is not the best thing. Since I started [at OU] three years ago, I definitely noticed a jump in my bill from my first year. I am just hoping to get out before they really spike it up.”

The BOT increased tuition every year for the past three years, by 3.8% in 2016, 3.74% in 2017, 3.8% in 2018 and 4.4% in 2019.

Kuiawa is not the only senior who views graduation as a way to escape creeping tuition costs. 

“I am not really a big fan of [the tuition increase],” said senior Hannah Roberts. “It makes me glad that I am going into my senior year and will not have to keep paying, as it seems to keep increasing.”

Despite all the gripes about serial increases and questionable spending, some students see rising tuition a disappointing fact of life at OU.

“Obviously [the tuition increase] kind of sucks because it is more money you have to pay, but it is worth it,” junior Anthony Dombrowski said. “I am happy to be at OU.”