Advocacy helps curb tuition

GW’s Board of Trustees passed the lowest tuition increase in a decade Friday, raising tuition and fees 4.7 percent for returning students – substantially lower than last year’s hefty 6.9 percent hike.

The decision comes after a year of student advocacy for a lower tuition increase and more input into the University’s financial decisions.

Student Association President Kuyomars “Q” Golparvar said such activism paid off Friday.

“I know (GW President Stephen Joel) Trachtenberg and the administration really listened,” Golparvar said.

Student leaders complained last spring that they were given little input into the tuition hike and were out of the loop when it came to GW’s spending priorities.

When this year’s increase rolled around, Golparvar said students were included earlier in the process, meeting with administrators in December to explain their priorities for next year’s budget.

And when student leaders met with Trachtenberg and the University’s vice presidents Thursday, Golparvar said he was satisfied with the figures the administration presented.

“Almost everything that we brought up is in the budget,” Golparvar said. “In my four years here, I haven’t seen this many students’ concerns addressed.”

Trachtenberg said student activism informed the administration’s thinking about spending priorities, but did not directly influence the University’s final decision about the tuition increase.

For example, he said the timetable for the University’s technology initiatives was accelerated because of students’ fervor in pushing for residence hall rooms to be wired.

“We thought students would be bothered by the inconvenience of putting in new wires,” Trachtenberg said. “We would never have dreamt that students would say, `Go ahead with it.’ “

Trachtenberg said he and other University administrators kept the Board of Trustees informed about student sentiment on campus, sending them copies of The GW Hatchet and other relevant literature.

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