Tuition at UM will go up 5.9 percent for the 2003-04 academic year, Dr. Luis Glaser, executive vice-president and provost for UM, reported to the Miami Hurricane. The price for tuition alone [not including fees]will jump from $24,378 this year to $25,816.
Tuition at UM for the 1999-00 academic year was $20,960. Current juniors who entered in 2000-01 paid $22,124 their freshman year and will pay $25,816 next year, an increase of 6.7 percent.
Glaser, also chief financial advisor for UM, mainly attributes the raise in tuition to the economic problems that face the country.
“Insurance costs have gone bonkers on us,” Glaser said. “Everything we need to insure has gone up. The problem is that the economics of insurance companies is with the stock market and we all know that the stock market has suffered as of late.”
Glaser also noted that the cost of improving technology and the construction costs of new buildings, such as the psychology building, also added to the total increase.
“Students demand the best in technology and that costs money,” Glaser noted. “In addition, space renovations are a very significant cost.”
Bringing speakers to campus and a decline in fundraising have also hindered UM’s economic status.
“There are more speakers and events at our school that don’t come cheap,” Glaser said. “In addition, our endowment is going down. It will probably be down 10-15 percent for this academic year.”
Dr. Pat Whitely, vice-president for Student Affairs, strongly expressed that the university by no means wanted to raise tuition, but that the current economic state and increasing costs led to the decision.
“Technology continues to cost a lot of money,” Whitely said. ” In addition, just the economic problems we are facing in the world.”
Whitely goes on to say that Sept. 11 has caused insurance rates to sky rocket.
“We also have costs in keeping our top faculty intact and keeping our facilities in top condition,” Whitely said.
However, Whitely maintains that she is very proud of all of the improvements that UM has offered to students recently.
“I feel good about the services we are providing for students. I am very proud of the expanded cable in the dorms, as well as the caller ID that will be in effect soon,” Whitely said. “Also, we have done other great things such as the convenience store being open 24 hours and later Wellness Center hours.”
Mike Johnston, president of Student Government, expressed that he is not happy with the increase in tuition, but that there is no way to fight the University’s budget.
“The budget has already been submitted. I voiced my concerns and since it’s a private university we [SG] have no say on that matter,” Johnston said.
There is also a strong concern over Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s budget proposal to cut state subsidies for college operations by $43.2 million, to $837 million. Bush said his proposal would hurt, but said he needs to do this to fund the constitutional amendment passed by Florida voters to reduce class sizes in public secondary schools. The final decision on the state budget won’t be made until July 1.
“The state of Florida is looking very carefully at money allotted to colleges and universities,” Glaser said. “We will definitely see some cuts in funding from the state.”
Glaser added that UM cannot afford to take drastic measures that have proven unsuccessful for other institutions in the past.
“Some schools take drastic measures by increasing tuition 9 percent one year, and then drop it the other year,” Glaser said. “Other schools try to increase tuition for only incoming freshmen, but that becomes a mess because a lot of students come in with a lot of credits and aren’t considered freshmen.”
Glaser also discounted other options.
“Do I like the increase in tuition, no. The only other option is to go into deficit-spending and that is not the way to go,” Glaser said.
Tuition prices for the upcoming academic year of other institutions are not yet public knowledge.
However, in its yearly survey of higher-education pricing, The College Board reported that tuition at four-year public colleges and universities is up 9.6 percent from last year, or about seven times the rate of inflation. Tuition at four-year private institutions increased by 5.8 percent.
The College Board’s reasons for the rising tuition were on par with what Glaser and Whitely reported. The College Board attributes increase in tuition to jumps in faculty salaries and to rising technology and construction costs. The Board also blames students for the raise in tuition because students everywhere demand cutting-edge computer labs, high-speed Internet connections and increasingly lavish dormitories, labs and fitness centers.
The tuition this year at UM [$24,378] was under or very close to the “high tier” private institutions in which the UM administration compares themselves to. The tuition at fellow Big East private schools this year was just under or above that of UM.
Boston College’s tuition for this year was $24,050; Notre Dame’s $25,510; and Georgetown’s was $26,544.
Other private schools that compare with UM include Wake Forest University [$23,530]; Syracuse University [$22,800]; Washington University in St. Louis [$28,300]; Boston University [$27,042]; University of Southern California [$26,464]; and Emory University [$26,600].
“We still see ourselves in the lower pack of the other private schools that we compare ourselves to,” Glaser said. “My prediction is that we will be in the lower end next year as well.”
You can reach Brian Poliakoff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW OTHER ’02-’03 TUITIONS COMPARE
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