Regents finally solve students’ tuition crisis

By Tom Hewitt
Fun Star Reporter

The following story is satire and is not meant to be taken seriously.

The UA Board of Regents passed a measure on Friday to eliminate tuition altogether at Alaska campuses in a move that brought cheers from many in the administration but left students skeptical.

“We’re very happy with what we accomplished today,” Regent Cynthia Henry said after the conclusion of the Friday meeting. “For years students have been telling us about their difficulty affording tuition, and today we responded.”

The regents defended their action as being financially responsible because by eliminating tuition, they also cancelled the expense of the UA Scholars tuition program that forgives the tuition of graduating Alaska high school seniors with top-10 percentile GPAs.

Student representatives, however, were less than enthusiastic about the decision, particularly in light of the regents’ subsequent decision to institute a new “Tuition Fee.” The fee, which will be levied on all undergraduate students, will cost students $150 per credit hour. “It’s really just a bait-and-switch on the part of the regents,” said ASUAF Government Relations Director Nicole Carvajal. “We’re disappointed in this transparent ploy by the regents to firm up the university’s bottom line at the expense of the students.”

E-mails about the situation flew back and forth early in the week on the student government listserv as officials scrambled to draft an official ASUAF response to the matter. Concerned student representatives were handicapped in their response, however, by their earlier decision to cancel all of the organization’s meetings this month so that senators could watch the NCAA basketball tournament. “It’s a frustrating situation, but at this point there’s not much we can do,” said ASUAF President Todd Vorisek, reached by phone deep in the second half of the Tennessee-Michigan State Regional Final on Sunday.

The transition from tuition to fees by the university started slowly, but has increased markedly. Where students once only had to pay for tuition, a fee or two, and a parking decal, now undergraduates are likely to pay for a substantial amount of their education by way of fees. Last semester, fees accounted for 25 percent of the cost of students’ overall bills (not including room and board costs) – next semester, that figure will shoot up to 100 percent.

Students appeared generally apathetic about the change. “I guess it’s going to be a pain for some people,” said senior engineering major Jeff Levison, “but at this point I really don’t expect anything different [from the administration]. Someone’s always going to be taking it in the behind, and at this point I’m pretty much used to it being me.”

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