Get the most bang for your tuition’s buck

At the beginning of each semester, we prepare to register for classes and cut a rather generous check to the University of Miami. And regardless of how many classes we register for, we pay the same flat-rate tuition, which covers 20 credits each semester.

As a freshman, my adviser helped me register for my first 15 credits, which she told me was the maximum amount I could take. In order to meet the 120-credit minimum that most majors require in a four-year span, students are expected to continue taking 15 credits each semester until they graduate.

However, many freshmen come in with a plethora of credits from their Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams, allowing them to take only 12-credit each semester, which is the minimum that the university requires.

As a continuing undergraduate student, my yearly tuition costs $41,580 for 2013-2013. Each credit is worth $1,730 per credit hour, according to UM’s cost of attendance breakdown.

Let’s say that, for argument’s sake, I excelled in high school and entered UM as a freshman with 30 credits from 10 AP classes I previously took.

That means that I only have to take 12 credits every semester until I graduate, but I am still paying the same tuition rate for eight unused credits each semester that is worth roughly $110,720 over the course of four years ($1,730 per credit times 16 credits each year). And I say roughly because our tuition is hiked up more and more each year, so there’s no telling how much extra I’d actually be paying.

Rather than continue to put your money to waste, I encourage you to take as many credits as you can honestly handle. This semester I am taking 19 credits (six classes and one practicum session), and I plan to do the same in the spring.

It is highly unlikely that I will get to learn three languages, study photography and sports writing, and be mentored by a Holocaust survivor at any other point in my life than during college. Look in to classes that interest you and take them. College is the time for us to find our passions and learn as much as we can.

You’re already paying for these courses, regardless of if you enroll in them, so you might as well sit down and learn a thing or two.

Jordan Coyne is a sophomore majoring in journalism and international studies.