Students argue for increased tuition for those who lag

Watch a multimedia story about tuition increases.

Story and multimedia by ARMIN HAMZA

Current higher education students suggest tuition should be increased for those students who take their time to graduate and stop increasing the tuition for those who graduate on time.

Many students have the goal to graduate from college one day. According to many students, those who change majors multiple times tend to stay in school a lot longer than those who graduate one time who have selected only one major throughout college.

The process of graduating includes having enough credits in order to get the diploma that eventually will help students get the right job and move on. Moving students through the system is one aspect officials in charge of state funding for higher education are concentrating on. Each time a student graduates from college it opens up a space for the next student to enroll, but unfortunately it’s not always the case. Some students do not graduate on time because they changed their major, or they are working on a second degree, or they are taking their time before they graduate.

“This is my fifth year at the University of Utah because I changed my major twice already,” Josh Moss, a student at the University of Utah says. “The tuition hike in the past semesters has definitely made me realize that I need to graduate as soon as possible.”

With tuition rates constantly rising, many students say it will help them to graduate a little bit earlier. They know the longer they are staying in college the more they will have to pay later on. Some students believe, if more and more students graduate on time, it will prevent overpopulation in schools and prevent further increase in tuition.

“I think if the tuition keeps rising it will help or force students that take their time graduate earlier, or at least graduate after they have completed all the requirements for their major,” Chad Scothern, a graduate student at the University of Utah says.

Some students believe the best way to help keep tuition rates low is to increase the tuition prices to those students who need more credit hours to graduate, which would also avoid a financial burden on parents. According to higheredutah.org, parents are saving more money now for their child’s education because of the increase in tuition. Current students believe increase in tuition to students who stay longer in school would create profit to schools and eventually help parents, which in the end would raise more money to the universities. More money to the universities would mean paying less for tuition for those students that graduate on time.

“I know many students that are still undecided on their major even after they have completed the 122 credit hours and they don’t understand that other students are paying for their mistakes,” Irma Turkic, a student at the University of Utah majoring in communications said. “I believe if the universities start charging those students more it will prevent further inflation in tuition.”

According to the Utah System of Higher Education, one negative aspect that would occur from charging higher tuition rates to students that need more than 122 credit hours would be that they would simply drop out after they realize they won’t graduate on time. Dropping out would mean lower retention rates. Turkic, on the other hand thinks, students won’t necessarily drop out of colleges’ due to the increase in tuition, but they would simply take fewer classes each semester. This would mean it would still keep those students that are not graduating in time still in school.

According to higheredutah.org, Utah education and business leaders believe, more of the workforce in coming years will need degrees and certificates from post secondary institutions. The way the economy looks like right now a college degree might be a necessity to even find any kind of job in the future. So, what is a degree worth these days? Scothern believes it is priceless, because a degree will always be an advantage to those who do not have one who pursue any kind of job.

Higheredutah.org believes education costs will continue to go up. This month, students found out that budget cuts to Utah’s colleges and universities left officials looking to tuition increases to offset lack of funding for the fourth consecutive year. This means that the tuition cost will go up even more and students will have to find more ways to graduate earlier. “This is another reason why it will force students to graduate on time,” Scothern said.