UM raise in tuition creating a dent in many students’ pockets

If you’ve taken a look at your tuition bill lately, chances are you’ll have noticed a slight boost in the numbers-a 5.9 percent boost to be exact, according to University of Miami Provost Tom LeBlanc.

“This increase is comparable to the increases we’ve had over the past three years,” Dr. LeBlanc said. “Most universities like UM look at what other schools are doing, where our tuition lies in comparison to peer schools, the current rate of inflation in wages and prices and other related factors to determine the amount of any increase in tuition.”

The raise in price has students talking.

“I’m all for increasing wages but when I look around and I see that money is going to things like plasma TVs in the UC and palm trees-that is genuinely unnecessary,” Slava Ostin, junior, said. “The thing is, it’s the look that the administration wants to impose on others. If it looks good to outsiders, they’ll get more money for future projects. It’s pure economics.”

But ‘Canes are in good company. According to Dr. LeBlanc, many private research universities have also increased tuition about five to six percent annually, including the University of Rochester, where Dr. LeBlanc served as vice provost and dean of the faculty before coming to UM.

“Well, it’s not that bad considering budget shortfalls in some states have caused tuitions at state universities to go up by 10 or 15 percent each of the past couple of years,” Josh Frank, senior, said. “And besides, we get free laundry now.”

The school is making an effort to alleviate students’ pain by significantly augmenting the financial aid available to them. For example, the Henry King Stanford Scholarship that the school offers was raised from $13,692 last year to $14,510 this year. Also, department scholarships have increased in number and the University has continued to compile a database of outside scholarships on the school website.

“[The tuition increase] is definitely a greater burden on students and their parents considering how expensive UM is already, but I understand that if I wish my school to continue on its route of improvement, it’s going to take some money to do so,” Edilberto Alvarez, senior, said. “Thankfully, I have scholarships to help me through the transition.”

Christine Dominguez can be contacted at