By Mark Wilcox
Utah Valley State College students may have to kiss the new iPod goodbye since tuition for fall semester will increase by anywhere from $59 to $332, which is roughly equal to the price of an iPod.
Between a first and second-tier tuition increase, UVSC students should plan to pay 8-12 percent more for fall semester 2005. Although the state government sets the first-tier increases, the second-tier increases are done on a school-by-school basis.
The reasons behind UVSC?s proposed second-tier tuition hikes were discussed at the fifth annual, state-mandated Truth in Tuition public hearing in the Sorensen Student Center at UVSC on Wednesday.
?We?ve been under-funded by the state over the years,? said William A. Sederburg, president of UVSC, in defense of the school?s second-tier tuition increase of 5 to 8 percent.
The added revenue from the increased second-tier tuition would be about $3.6 million.
The money gained from the increase will go mostly to dealing with advisement problems, but Sederburg said that retention, recruitment and an honors program are also on his to-do list.
UVSC only receives 46.7 percent of its funding from the state, while some state universities receive as much as 81.9 percent, Sederburg said. To bring UVSC funding up to the average, the state government would have to hand UVSC an extra $40.8 million.
Although that kind of funding would be ideal, Sederburg said it was highly unlikely.
?Unfortunately, we have to rely on students to propel the university forward,? he said.
The state doesn?t cover any general improvements for the college, he said, it only covers the salary increases across the staff.
The tuition increases are modest in comparison to those that have happened in the past, Sederburg said.
?UVSC remains one of the best bargains as far as college education goes,? said Heather Barnum, spokeswoman for UVSC. ?Seventy percent of institutions in the U.S. still have higher tuition than UVSC.?
UVSC students in attendance seemed to see it coming.
?I think a tuition increase is inevitable because of what the legislation has done,? said Shawn Bunderson, 26, a UVSC junior from Salt Lake City.
Sederburg said the state keeps the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition.
Bunderson said students should get involved and lobby toward keeping the difference at UVSC instead of returning it to the state.
He said that would add up to about the same dollar amount as the tuition increase.
However, some see the increase as necessary and favorable.
?Our school takes a huge hit in advising,? said Leland Page, student body vice president of academics at UVSC.
He said the average time for UVSC students to acquire a four year degree is five years, much of which is due to poor advising.