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Tuition hike means less for more

La Verne is very proud of its new La Verne Experience program, which makes a nice marketing piece, but there is one La Verne Experience not covered an any of the brochures, but is common to every single student here: The La Verne Experience of an annual yearly tuition increase.

The Board of Trustees has approved a 4.9 percent tuition increase that will be implemented for the 2013-2014 academic year. Although it is not as much as last year’s 6.5 percent increase, it is still more then some students are able to pay.

Accumulating debt is part of many student expectations, but there is a limit to how much we should have to pay, and La Verne has hit its limit. Especially with the recent shortage in classes and increase in class sizes, not to mention the parking situation. When students are looking at colleges to attend, tuition is one of the factors that they take into consideration, so when a student says ‘yes’ to La Verne they say ‘yes’ to that amount, not thinking about an annual increase.

A solution the University refuses to consider is a grandfather clause in tuition policy, which some universities employ. This solution says that students will not be charged more than was originally laid out for them each year and will only have to pay a difference depending on lab fees or books needed for a course.

For example, instead of just charging everyone the increase in tuition, Suffolk University in Boston grandfathers the tuition of the students that maintain a 3.6 grade point average or higher as a reward for their academics. If their GPA drops then they receive the increase.

This serves as an incentive for students to do better, raises University standings and saves students a few thousand dollars on their way to their degree. This process gives the university something to brag about and pushes students to do better.

Reasons behind La Verne’s increase include paying off the debt the University has accumulated because of Vista La Verne and the renovations to Ortmayer Stadium along with salaries for 15 new faculty members to help with the growing student population.

To help slow down the pace at which the school is growing, the University plans to bring in 600 new students compared to this year’s 637. This will possibly save 37 spots in classes, 37 parking spaces and 37 spots in housing. But is this enough?

Students who have been here long enough remember what it was like when the Campus Center was the new building in town and tuition was thousands of dollars less – with a substantially smaller population are left to wonder if it will ever be the same again, or will fond memories have to suffice.

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