Tuition for the 2012-2013 school year will increase 4.8 percent ($1,470) for full-time students. This is the second consecutive year that tuition has risen by that proportion. Room and board will also increase by $460.
The rough economic times do lead to financial instability. This affects everyone and faculty wages should be a priority; they need to survive too. The cuts in governmental aid are significant. If this trend continues, though, soon tuition will be unaffordable to many students.
When tuition must be increased repeatedly by such a degree, the places where a student’s money is going must be evaluated and prioritized. Students should not have to pay for activities or services they don’t use. Instead, students should be charged for technology and activities only when they use University computers or attend programming events.
Some measures, like increases- in class size or teaching load have not been taken by the University to cut costs. Though these might decrease student-professor attention, such a continual cost increase cannot continue and more aggressive measures like these might need to be taken.
JCU has maintained its status as one of the best values in education. This could be a large contributing factor to the increase in enrollment. However, the unsure economic situation makes the value factor unreliable. It is unsure if the income of students and their families will be enough to even afford an education of any price.
It is commendable that the University has increased need-based financial aid to accommodate the increase in tuition. However, this clearly is not the most sustainable way of making a quality education affordable. The sources of price increases must be identified and efforts must be taken to keep these increases under control.