This archived article was written by: Heather Myers
The College of Eastern Utah is proposing a seven-percent increase in student tuition to the Utah State Board of Regents. First-tier tuition is going up by 3.5 percent and the second tier is also being increased by 3.5 percent. There will also be a 3.5 percent increase in student fees.
The Utah State Board of Regents decides first tier-tuition, and this year they have decided on a 3.5 percent increase for all higher education institutions in the state. The individual schools decide second-tier tuition. Student government decided the increase in student fees. State funding covers 78 percent of CEU’s budget, while student tuition and fees cover 22 percent. The Board of Regents will finalize these numbers on Friday, March 18.
For example, the University of Utah is planning five percent increase in second-tier tuition so their overall increase will be 8.5 percent. Utah State University is anticipating larger increases in second-tier tuition at 6.2 percent so their overall increase will be 9.7 percent.
These numbers are much lower than they have been in the past. Educators have speculated the increase is lower than anticipated because of the surplus revenue in the state. This session lawmakers gave Utah’s nine public colleges and universities more than $57 million in new money.
CEU tuition for a resident of Utah, taking 12-19 credit hours, will go from $752.50 per semester this year, to $805.17 next year. Tuition for nonresidents, taking from 12-19 credit hours, will be $3,375. The total, including student fees, will be $990.57 for a full-time resident next year. The total for a full-time nonresident will be $3,559.40.
There will also be an increase in student fees next year. The breakdown of fees will be as follows: student activities, $33.50; Burtenshaw bond, $32; athletics, $27.50; Student Center operations, $6; alumni, 90 cents; departmental activities $10; student center bond, $41.30; newspaper, $3.70; police, $2.50; intramural sports, $6; health and wellness center, $11; computers, $2.50; activity card, $2; BDAC, $2; recreation, $2; museum, 25 cents; radio, 25 cents; SUN center, $1. Total fees will be $184.40.
For the past six years Snow College has had the lowest tuition and student fees in the state, but with the recent increases CEU takes over the most economical position. “Its great to be the cheapest in the state,” President Ryan Thomas said in a March 15 meeting about the issue.
There are 223 higher education institutions in the region, excluding California; CEU is the 67th most expensive. There has been talk on the state level of changing the numbers so that the two-research institutions in the state, Utah State University and the University of Utah (85th and 87th most expensive respectively) would cost more. Doing this would make it so smaller community colleges in the state could lower their costs.
According to Thomas, “In an ideal world tuition [at smaller community colleges] would be 2/3 of what it is now.” The idea behind this is keeping students out of debt for the first two years of college. If students don’t incur a lot of debt during their first two years, they will be more likely to complete four years of college rather than work to pay off their debt.