Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Letter to the Editor: Students should be more aware of rising tuition costs

Dear Editor,

Does anyone regard the exorbitant costs of attending this university with any degree of concern?

Convinced that education is the key to opportunity, I re-enrolled in this university this semester, after a several-year absence, to complete the requirements for my graduate degree. In every subsequent interaction with the university, I am astounded by how much this institution is intent on milking every last nickel and dime out of its students.

While my initial re-enrollment process proceeded smoothly, thanks to the capable administrators in my department, I was warned in a letter from the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School that I had exceeded the time limit to complete my master’s degree.  While I was granted an extension to complete the program by December, further extension beyond that was “not guaranteed by the graduate school” and that could result in my “termination from the graduate program.”

And what about the credits I’ve already accumulated? Or the hefty financial commitment I’ve already made? I can honestly say I’ve never heard of term limits on a degree of any type. People go back to school to complete degrees all the time, after long periods in the workforce or in pursuit of other interests. On the contrary to the sentiments of this letter, shouldn’t returning to school be encouraged by institutions of higher learning and scholarship?

At the University of Miami, why wouldn’t you want students coming back when tuition rates go up by close to 4 percent each year for both undergraduate and graduate students? Tuition has risen about 16.5 percent.  That seems antithetical considering what’s transpired in the economy since 2008 with the ever-diminishing pool of high paying jobs that face us all upon graduation.

In addition to tuition, the university now mandates that students have health insurance ($2,192 for a full year of coverage on the U’s plan) and doesn’t provide free access to the Wellness Center (nope, that’s another $152).  I recently received an email from student health instructing me to indicate whether I was a smoker or not.  I had to let them know that I’m not because the health folks would like to believe every student is and would therefore be subject to an additional $50 charge.

Only recently, a 200,000-student strong strike ended in Quebec with government plans to increase tuition (and the governing party itself) gone by the wayside.  The idea that education is a right, not a privilege, is still very much alive north of the border. That concept lost its popular hold in this country a while ago. But in UM’s case, the business-first, dollar-driven mentality has become, in my opinion, abhorrently pervasive.

I openly question the value of any education that costs as much as it does here. I ask the leaders of this institution to reconsider its spending priorities if they can think over the racket of all the new campus construction.  And I ask this student body, which complacently wanders to and fro on campus seemingly more concerned with Tweeting and texting than even watching where they’re walking, if they give a damn either way?


Daniel Manichello is a graduate student in the Master of Arts International Administration program.

October 7, 2012


The Miami Hurricane

3 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Letter to the Editor: Students should be more aware of rising tuition costs”

  1. Jacob says:

    Wonderful article, thank you for sending. UM was ranked among the worst for student debt in the nation a few years ago. Hurricane please cover this kind of stuff more, thanks!

  2. Fred says:

    I highly respect both that this student chose to write in on this topic, AND that The Miami Hurricane chose to publish it!

  3. kristyn says:

    How refreshing that somebody is awake at this university.

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

The Miami Hurricanes, still waiting for a starting quarterback to be named, are in the top 25 again. ...

Happy first day of school for everyone out there, including the University of Miami students. We jus ...

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

1. DOLPHINS: Fins any good? 'Dress rehearsal' may tell: Opening win, then lopsided loss. W ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.