Sunday, January 13, 2008

Republicans Plan URI Tuition Increases

While listening to "A Lively Experiment" I heard the NEA's Bob Walsh bring up the Republican's Jelly Doughnut Solution as his "weekly outrage." BTW- my weekly outrage was no women on this program. He mentioned that since URI receives 15% (actually it's 14%, Bob, but close enough) of the State budget for funding, the Republican solution would mean that in two years it would only receive 5% funding. Uh-oh. Since my son is now a frosh at URI, I decided to follow up on this.

This from the URI Foundation website:

The State of Rhode Island contributes just 14 percent of URI’s operating budget, compared with 24 percent a decade ago.
To help make up this shortfall, URI has increased tuition an average of 7.5 percent each year over the past five years. These increases have made it more challenging for students with limited financial resources to pursue URI degrees.

What does this mean? My son attends URI & annually pays tuition $6400 & fees $2200 ( health insurance can add another $1000 unless you can prove in a timely fashion that you have it- I was not quick enough) amounting to appx. $8700. Of course, this does not include books, transportation, or housing/food. Campus housing (if you can get it & he could not) is $2751 per semester ($400 less for a triple) & food (many diff't options)- appx. $2000 per semester.

Now if they increase tuition 7.5% each year with 14% funding, let's extrapolate that. With 4% State funding, tuition will be increased 30% over a two year period & then 7.5% thereafter. This translates into appx. $550-600 increase each year after the initial $1800 increase. So in 3 years my son's tuition will be $9000 (quite a jump from the initial $6400) plus fees (no choice here & I figured in no increase) =$11,200. Throw in housing, & food (with no increases) and it's now over $20,000/yr. Not such a great buy now.

How does one justify this in an age demanding an educated force? Oh, I know how they do it. We fool everyone into thinking we're reducing taxes while what they are really doing is increasing tuition, fees, etc. so that the rich get richer and the rest of us ...well, who really cares. Only those who can afford it (rich) should be in college anyway. Isn't this the point of the new "ownership society?" A few have everything while everyone else is on "their own" with no social support whatsoever? But, wait, we're the everyone. We're "the people." When does government start remembering that? Maybe when we do & vote/act accordingly. Forget the "Jelly Doughnut Solution." It's just not worth if for what will only be a fleeting, momentary delight with rather unpleasant consequences.
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