MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - How would you like to have an increase of almost five percent in what you pay for bills? That's essentially what many students at the University of South Alabama will be facing next year.
The USA Board of Trustees voted Friday, June 7 to increase tuition and fees four and a half percent starting this coming academic year.
The increase raises tuition and fees to just over $8,300 per academic year.
The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve the increase.
WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?
When asked where the money goes, Vice President of Academic Affairs David Johnson said, "Of course, we have increases in costs."
Wayne Davis, the vice president of financial affairs, said, "We're also getting mandated cost increases from the state."
USA officials said the tuition increase will provide about $4.5 million, and there's also extra money coming in from the state.
Even with that, however, increased costs for retirement and insurance more than eat up the extra money.
What do students think about the increase?
Marshall Hayden said, "Too high, way too high. Why? Why the increase?"
Riley Davis, who's also the Student Government Association president, said, "It seems as though its a large increase, but, really, once when you bring it down to the numbers, and the addition of all the scholarship initiatives going on campus, its not going to be difficult."
Lizzie Goldsmith said, "I think it will affect the number of enrollments, because people will go to other schools even if they're really into coming to South. They'll change, and they'll go to a smaller community college or something, the first couple of years, until they get money."
HOUSING FEES GOING UP, TOO
This will be the sixth year of tuition increases by USA.
Housing fees are also going up four and a half percent, and student meal plan rates will go up an average of four percent.
COMPARISON WITH SOME OTHER STATE SCHOOLS
Trustees said at $8,300 an academic year, tuition is still lower than at the University of Alabama, Auburn University, and Troy University.
University officials released financial figures on costs and the tuition increase:
Tuition increase: approximately $4,500,000
State appropriation increase: $1,400,456
Retirement Systems of Alabama increase: $3,097,192.
Health insurance, current and retired employees: $3,143,250
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