Tuition Hike At SFA - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

04/10/07 - Nacogdoches

Tuition Hike At SFA

by Donna McCollum

University tuition hikes are affecting some families more than others. Take SFA student Tish Gomez' family.   " For me we have me, my sister who goes here, my other sister who goes to Dallas Baptist University and my mom whose a student at UTMB. We're all in school at the same time."

Gomez and others have bills. So do universities.  Just ask SFA vice president of finance and administration, Debbie Baisden.      " Our utilities have risen 62%, just like at your home. Energy costs for fuels for vehicles. Salaries. We have tried hard to keep pace and we have not kept pace the way we want to on salaries."

So in store is a tuition hike between $8 and $12 per semester hour, increases in four student fees and a 5% overall rise in room and board rates. Baisden used to work for the Legislative Budget Board in Austin. She knows about university tuitions from all angles. " Revenue can only come from a couple of different places. The state is one and the students is another one."

Or their parents.   SFA student Jake Offield knows, " My parents won't be happy about it because they're not happy right now about how much the dorm costs and everything."

Everything like scholarships. The kind that helps build enrollment and sends international student Geetha Anne to SFA. She can't relate to tuition increases too much. "No, it's difficult," the biotechnology student answered.  

The announcement of a tuition increase is not coming at the best time. Registration for next fall is in a week and a half. There's not much time for students to get finances in order, especially those who might need financial aid.    Ironically, a big chunk of the tuition hike will go toward financial aid. A catch 22 for Tish Gomez and her family.    " I use mine to pay rent. It just pretty much gets me through the whole semester," said the music major. But come next fall getting through the semester will be 9% to 14% more.

Facts and Figures

Designated tuition increase: $8 - $12 ( exact amount won't be determined until after state appropriations announced)
Library fee: $4 to $12
Publication fee: $1 to $6
Student service fee: $11 to $12
Technology fee: $10 to $16

New construction on campus not factor in hike decision, according to Baisden. This is paid through fees voted on by students. Dorms are paid through self generated revenue.

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