This archived article was written by: Hannah Coleman
A Truth-in-Tuition hearing to discuss tuition next year and answer questions with Chancellor Joe Peterson was held on March 23. In attendance were four students in Price, a faculty member in Blanding and Vice Chancellor Greg Dart.
In this hearing, Peterson revealed several things. USU Eastern is not the cheapest public higher education institution in the state. Snow College is. Their tuition is higher, but low student fees put the overall cost of education lower than at Eastern. Next year, though, tuition is going up at the Ephraim college.
USU Eastern will experience a five percent increase in tuition. This amounts to $77 per semester per student. The overall cost of tuition and fees for next year is projected to be $1,874.64. This increase comes from two places, a tier-one increase and a tier-two increase.
The tier-one increase is set by the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) and applies to every public college or university in the state. Basically, the Board of Regents decides how much they want to hike tuition, and every school complies. Next year, the increase is set for 2.5 percent across the state.
After the tier-one increase, individual institutions can set their own increases. This year, Logan decided to set an additional 2.5 percent increase in tuition for every USU campus.
Dart says this is the first year recently that USU has elected to have a tier-two increase. When it comes to the tuition hike, Dart says, “I struggle a bit with it. There isn’t a lot of input from institutions.” He explained that when the cost of living for employees goes up, tuition helps make it up.
Representative Kim Coleman, who sits on the Higher Education Appropriations Committee has some thoughts on the tuition increase as well. The legislature approved an increase in funds for USHE including 25 percent of the state’s total new revenue. There was $62 million approved for operations, $7.2 million in tuition mitigation, $3.5 million for student growth, $8 million for the Regent Scholarship, and a 2 percent salary increase across the board.
Where will this additional tuition money go at Eastern? “We don’t know yet,” Dart says. When asked if she supports the tuition increase, Rep. Coleman said, “I support the universities getting a hold of their costs that have outpaced all other sectors in the market. When we fund growth and approve increased funds and cover increases in salaries, I’m not happy they go after students for even more money.”