DU students petition for tuition “lock-in”

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DENVER- The University of Denver has quickly become one of the most expensive higher education institutions in the United States. In 2015 it was the 144th most expensive college/university in the country to attend and at the time tuition was only $56,077. For the 2017-2018 academic year total cost of attendance, as estimated by the Office of Financial Aid, will be $62,345.

A petition has been started by a student Alex Becht to have a 4-year tuition guarantee. While Alex was unavailable for comment the words on his petition paint a good picture of his cause, “college tuition rates rise an average of 3 percent per year, in comparison to the average income rising at only 0.4 percent per year. Meanwhile, some colleges have raised their tuition rates by almost 200% since 2000. Statistics such as these worry students who may be tightly budgeting in order to get through their four years of higher education.” The petition is still relatively new but already has 111 signatures from students giving his cause potential validity in the eyes of the provost office.

Many schools across the country offer a very similar promise to the one Alex is seeking. Last March, University of Colorado at Boulder, with a 7-2 majority by CU’s elected board of regents voted to lock in tuition and fees for each entering classes next four years. This came after much frustration from students attending CU Boulder after prices have increase 3%-30% over the past few years. They aren’t the only ones with similar policies, George Washington, Ohio, and Baylor University, to name a few, all have some form of tuition or fee lock-ins.

This has many students and faculty concerned as DU seems to keep becoming more and more financially unreasonable to attended. A 4th year student Marcell Budavari had some especially frustrating words when asked about the issue. Marcell is completely reliant on his scholarship and own means to pay for school, “My parents give me zero help unlike most kids at this school so while it may not be a big deal for other students its extremely hard for me to be told I have to keep paying more money… They talk a big game here about inclusive excellence but it seems to me more and more that they are ousting people like me who don’t come from money.”

Marcell isn’t the only one concerned either. Ryan Aikman, a third year, was especially upset that tuition on him has been raised twice since he first attended the university in the fall of 2014. “I can understand the need to raise tuition in order to pay for the many expensive projects DU has recently undertook like the new engineering building, but it’s still unfair to change the price of my attendance while I’m already a student.” “I planned on my four years costing a certain amount and now my family and I feel more financially strained.”

As if all this rising tension wasn’t enough for DU a head of their latest tuition increase announcement from the office of the Provost, they have just announced a 2.1 million dollar renovation of the men’s ice hockey locker room following the teams Championship winning season. The new locker room will be double in size and according to the University will feature, “a players’ lounge, off-ice training, hydrotherapy pools, nutrition station, study area and feature historical elements showcasing the rich tradition of the hockey program, including a “wall of fame” exterior for the student passerby or recruit.”

Although there were 140 donors involved DU still isn’t clear how much of the tuition money they have invested in the project. Curt Lewis, a first year, felt the expense is deserved, “Those guys brought back a Championship to a school that has been missing one for over 10 years… yeah it’s a lot of money but hopefully it keeps bringing great athletes to this school.”
Curt’s view on the school’s expenditures is also back by other students, George another first year who didn’t care to give his last name said, “I see the increase in tuition and the increase in spending as a positive sign for the university… It seems to keep growing in popularity and gaining much more nationally recognition in athletics and academics… I think our business school is one of the top in the nation.”

Upon trying to contact the Provost office for insight they failed to comment but instead sent their annual tuition letter which ensures inclusion and fairness to all students. A complex issue with no clear answers for DU students or college students across America for the skyrocketing price of higher education.

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