North Texas Daily

Student Government Association meets with administration to discuss tuition increase

Student Government Association meets with administration to discuss tuition increase

Student Government Association meets with administration to discuss tuition increase
November 13
10:03 2021

The Student Government Association met with university staff Wednesday to address questions and concerns from students regarding the proposed tuition increase scheduled to be voted on in late November.

“The university is very aware that an increase is going to impact a lot of students,” SGA Vice President David Muñoz-Sarabia said.

Assistant Vice President for Student Financial Services Chris Foster and Vice President for Academic Resources Jennifer Stevenson attended the SGA meeting virtually to discuss the increase.

“We’re constantly looking how to stretch every dollar as thin as we possibly can to ensure we remain as affordable as possible for all of our students at UNT,” Foster said.

Foster and Stevenson had previously presented information on the tuition increase at a public hearing in October, but since only a handful of students attended that meeting, they were not able to answer as many specific questions as they did on Wednesday.

“The biggest thing is just understanding where money is going,” SGA Chief of Staff Casey Jimenez said. “Understanding how much money is going to increase in your tuition.”

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Senator Grant Johnson brought up concerns from a student worried she might not be able to afford the higher tuition if the increase was approved. Although there is not a grandfather clause for returning students, the increases will only apply to one type of tuition plan.

“The rate increases that we are proposing would take effect for any student who is on the traditional tuition plan,” Foster said.

Students who are not on the traditional tuition plan will continue paying the rates promised to them when they chose the alternative tuition plan.

“The Eagle Express program was officially closed a few years ago,” Foster said. “Students in that program will continue to have the rates they locked in when they chose the plan.”

The Eagle Express program is not the only plan exempt from the increase. Students who chose the Save and Soar tuition plan over the last two years will also have a locked-in rate. Another question brought up was if any of the money from the tuition increase would go towards parking or the university Transportation Services department.

“At this time, the tuition increase is not planned to directly support parking spaces, but there may be other impacts that the tuition increase is able to help offset,” Foster said.

Since the transportation department is funded from selling permits, it would likely not receive any of the extra revenue. The money would instead go towards faculty and staff, as well as student financial aid.

“There are some meaningful investments that we do have to make to make sure that those staffing resources are appropriately allocated,” Stevenson said.

Foster and Stevenson’s entire presentation was recorded and will be posted on the SGA’s official YouTube channel along with the remainder of the senate meeting for students to watch. Any students wanting to attend the board meeting on Nov. 17-18 virtually or in person at the UNT Dallas Campus can find more information at the UNT system’s website.

“The Board of Regents has to approve this,” Muñoz-Sarabia said. “It’s not set in stone.”

Featured Image: Senators listen to Ethan Gillis speak during the senate meeting on Nov. 3 2021. Photo by John Anderson

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Alex Reece

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