UNT’s proposed tuition increase illustrates the effects of tuition deregulation

UNT’s proposed tuition increase illustrates the effects of tuition deregulation

UNT’s proposed tuition increase illustrates the effects of tuition deregulation
November 14
23:37 2018

UNT just quietly announced its plans to raise tuition in the coming years — specifically within the Mayborn School of Journalism, the College of Visual Arts and Design, the College of Science and Toulouse Graduate School. The UNT Board of Regents will hear and vote on the proposed increase at their Nov. 15 meeting.

The Office of the Provost and Student Financial Services held two hearings about the raise to answer questions and give more information to the public. UNT officials said a disproportionate amount of faculty to students — and the subsequent hiring of more professors — called for the increase.

While the student body can certainly appreciate efforts toward enhancing the faculty and resources at the university, what we don’t appreciate is being held financially responsible for it — especially when we’re already paying so much.

Following this year’s critical budget cuts across various majors and organizations within the university, news of escalating tuition rates comes as salt in the wound. Students involved in the same organizations whose funds have been slashed will be demanded to fork over even more money to the very institution causing them financial distress.

According to the Texas Tribune, tuition at UNT increased 163 percent from 2002 to 2015 — just above the statewide average tuition increase of 147 percent during the same timespan. The Tribune attributes the statewide cost inflation to a recent swell in college enrollment, combined with the state’s increasing aversion for funding college educations.

To make up the difference, legislation allows universities to raise tuition, effectively pushing the onus onto students and their families. The Tribune also reported that from 2010 to 2015, Texas has placed last in the nation in total per-student revenue growth in its institutions of higher education. This means Texas is given the least state allocations for education and makes the least in tuition out of all 50 states.

If the state is unwilling to allocate more funds to accommodate enrollment, the institution is forced to raise its costs. Herein lies the issue:

Educational institutions should not be allowed to place the excessive burden of funding on students. Texas needs to pick up the slack it has let go of in recent years and realize that collectively funding Texas students’ educations through taxes is better than the alternative — which is the absence of regulation on tuition, continual price hikes and financially crippling young generations with intensifying severity.

If UNT officials wanted to make a more ethical, sensible decision, they would search for other avenues for funding before suddenly assuming every student is equipped to pay more for college. It seems counterintuitive to further plunder the pockets of students the university is supposed to be invested in — meanwhile there are legislative policies in place that ensure big companies and the wealthy get tax breaks to avoid paying for social programs.

Average tuition at a public university today has climbed to nearly $10,000 per school year, when in the ’80s it was $3,190, according to CNBC. This should be raising red flags for everyone. In UNT’s case, when regulation issues force the culpability of funding faculty members’ pay onto the students, it is time for something to be changed.

Featured Illustration: Jordan Collard

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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