Tuition and fees will cost students an additional 3 percent during the 2015-16 academic year.
In Utah, there are eight public colleges and universities. These schools are governed by the Utah State Board of Regents. The regents decide on a system-wide tuition increase, known as tier one.
Tier two is what can be decided per institution. Each institution can decide to add on fees if needed.
This year, the only institution that decided to add on a tier two tuition increase was the University of Utah, at 0.5 percent increase.
In addition to the extra 0.5 percent at the university, or tier two level, the University of Utah is raising its fees for three programs: international affairs, global enterprise and electrical and computer engineering.
“Essentially the tuition increases are related to how much funding we get from the state,” said Melanie Heath, director of communications for the Utah System of Higher Education. “For instance, before the recession in 2008 tuition paid for 37 percent of education students and state funds paid for about 63 percent.”
The cost increase at WSU per credit hour will rise from $389 to $401 per credit hour. For full-time, in-state students, that comes to an extra $65 per semester for 11 to 18 credit hours. Student fees are are also going up 3 percent, or $3.40 per credit hour. For full-time resident students, that will add another $13 per semester.
While that may not seem like much, it’s a trend that concerns some Weber State students.
“I think the biggest drawback is just with students. If the tuition does raise, it may discourage students from coming back to finish their degrees,” said Baileigh Anderson, senior and English major. “But if more money is going to student fees, there could be a lot better student programs.”
Anderson believes the biggest reason tuition will be raised is to increase student opportunity and provide better funding for certain programs.
Bethanie Woolsey, a sophomore and health administration services major, was also concerned about students being priced out of their education.
“It’s already expensive enough and at most universities you may have to take less classes,” Woolsey said. “Some students might drop out because of the expense.”
Sophomore nursing major Caitlin Benko said students already have a tough time with their finances without the increases.
“College students already spend a lot of money in order to attend school, and I think by increasing the tuition rate, it will drive some people away,” Benko said. “It can make it incredibly hard for other people to make ends meet.”