Tuition hike leaves students wary

The tuition hike approved Friday by the University’s Board of Trustees again has raised concerns about GW’s financial decisions.

In the wake of last year’s 6.9 percent increase, students advocated more communication between students and administrators, calling for student input into the University budget process.

Students say this year’s lower increase is more acceptable, but they still are adamant in their push for involvement in University decision making.

“We put a list of our priorities (determined by a Student Association survey last fall) in front of the Board of Trustees, and we feel like they were responsive to what we wanted,” undergraduate Sen. Jesse Strauss (CSAS) said.

“I think we should be kept in on exactly what the Trustees are thinking in the budget creation progresses, and we’d like to see a breakdown of exactly what percentage of our money goes where,” said sophomore Mike Smith.

“I’m more against the principle of the increase than having to pay the actual money,” freshman Shafkat Anwar said. “I want to know how the University will spend the money. They should make more of an attempt to justify these increases, line by line.”

“Are these just arbitrary, or what? From where I’m sitting now, it kind of seems that way,” Anwar said.

“There’s really something wrong when 73 percent of the students we surveyed were dissatisfied with the school’s spending. Our ultimate goal is to get that number down to 10 percent,” Strauss said.

Senior Josh Fearnley will not be affected by the tuition increase, but he said it is “ridiculous for continuing students to have to pay five percent more considering what this University offers sometimes. It’s part of the reason why people don’t come here.”

Fearnley said he does not think incoming and returning students should pay different increases.

The recent creation of an SA tuition action director and more student surveys will provide two ways the administration can be appraised of student concerns, Strauss said.

Shannon Dooley, a high school senior from Cary, N.C., said the yearly tuition increases will not change her decision to attend GW in the fall.

“When you get to the $25,000 range, it seems like $2,000 here or there just doesn’t make that big a difference,” Dooley said. “I mean, we’ll be in debt for the rest of our lives anyway, regardless of whether the raise is two percent or 12 percent.”

But sophomore Kevin Rubin said he feels a GW education may not be worth his tuition dollars.

“The classrooms aren’t the best and neither are the facilities in general,” he said.

“I don’t think my tuition should go to pay for people in Francis Scott Key Hall to get cable and Internet access,” added Rubin, who lives off campus.

“(Tuition increases) are coming so close together. We normally get them every two years, but two in a row is a bit much,” sophomore Danielle Storey said. “I think that if the University were more honest with us in their intentions, we’d be more receptive to this.”

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.