Tuition increases are expected to roll into another school year while undergraduate students face a 15 percent tuition increase in 2012-2013, if the budget is passed.
“In many cases it’s not understood that we’re sent a requirement in order to keep up,” said Budget and Finance Committee Chairman Rufus Montgomery, “and so hearing from some students and from stakeholders about why our fees are being increased, I wanted to get it out there in the public space that in order to simply keep up, we are working on those things that were thrust upon us.”
Montgomery continued, “So it’s not necessarily the administration of the school that’s requiring the increase, but it’s to stay above water.” President James Ammons agreed with Montgomery and stressed the importance of students graduating on time.
“FAMU has utilized differential tuition, especially in light of the severe cuts that we’ve taken,” said Ammons.
Tuition has steadily increased in the past four years. The board has chosen, in light of tuition and fee spikes on students, to ultimately serve as a user tax for the university to stay afloat.
Trustees stated there was $300 million slated across the university’s budget for higher education. Out of that, there was about $50 million in tuition reduction.
“We are raising taxes, that’s the way it goes,” said Trustee Marjorie Turnbull.
“A legislature that doesn’t like to raise taxes, that’s what they do,” she added.
Turnbull emphasized that caution must be taken with tuition increase as, “it could impact incoming students, the number of students that are able to go to school, the number of students that are able to finish.”
“There is an experience of expectations whereby a student knows what their income is, they know what their parents can afford, what they’re going to have do in order to cover the cost, and when those continually go up, that changes their ability to complete their degree,” said Turnbull.
Student Government Association President Breyon Love cautioned that tuition hikes had haunted his college career.
“I’ve been here for four years, and it’s crazy to imagine that in those four years, I’ve had my tuition increased,” Love said. “And it’s really damaging to finances.”
For more information on FAMU’s budget and finances, contact Teresa Hardee at email@example.com.