EAST LANSING – Michigan State University Board of Trustee members opted to raise tuition for the second consecutive year, increasing expenses for all students attending the University.
Melanie Foster, a former Board of Trustee at Michigan State University, said the vote was unanimous and almost always is. “You are trying to provide a world-class education at a competitive price,” Foster said. “If anyone asks a student about a tuition increase, it’s probably not a favorable thing. But, do they realize the cost of operating the business?”
Matt Pingilley, a sophomore transfer student, will be paying a 2.6 percent increase in tuition
along with other freshman status students. “Almost all freshman and
sophomores take the general education classes during their first two years,”
Pingilley said. “Many of these classes won’t even apply to our major, so it
seems unfair that we already seem to waste money on classes we don’t even use.”
Ally Kundinger, a senior in the Lyman Briggs Residential College, will be paying, along with other juniors and seniors, a 2.9 percent increase in the upcoming academic year. Kundinger said that the higher increase percentage in tuition should apply to incoming freshman and sophomore students, rather than upperclassmen. “I don't think this is fair,” Kundinger said. “The upperclassmen have shown commitment and already have been paying tuition longer. They also probably have jobs and payment plans set up. A larger change would be a hiccup in this plan, whereas a sophomore or freshmen may not have this set up quite yet.”
Pingilley said a tuition increase would not be fair for any student, but sees it more applicable to upperclassmen. “Many of the professors that teach the upper-level classes are more qualified because the classes get progressively harder as you take them,” Pingilley said.
Former Board of Trustee, Foster, agreed that upperclassmen should pay a higher tuition because as a student becomes more proficient in their field, their classes and professors generally cost more. “The Board of Trustees make tuition a tiered system because it costs more money to educate an upperclassman and graduate student,” Foster said. “Your core classes you took, with 300 students in them when you were an underclassman, are a lot less costly to teach because the numbers [of students] in them.”
The University is paying salaries to professors that are competitive with other schools in the Big Ten and 80 percent of the budget goes towards salaries for those professors.
Kundinger said she was not aware of where the funds were going to be allocated. “I would like to see if the funds are absolutely necessary to the University function,” Kundinger said. “MSU is already an expensive school for most students, and an increase just makes the cost less accessible for more students.”