Doctoral dollars – Staff Editorial

Next year, Columbian School doctoral candidates will see a dramatic increase in the fees they pay to the University.

Doctoral candidates usually complete the 72 credit hours of required course work in four years, but it often takes students another four years – sometimes more – to finish their dissertations. Under the old policy, Ph.D. candidates paid $35 per semester after they had completed their course work but were still working on their dissertations. Under the new policy, doctoral students will pay for one credit hour each semester they remain at GW working on their dissertations – $680 per semester.

The jump in fees from $35 a semester to $680 is too big, even by GW’s standards.

GW strives to make itself an internationally known research center. To accomplish that goal, the University must lure students who will spend countless hours buried in library stacks or working in labs. The resulting research will benefit both the researcher and the institution that provided the resources – the former will receive a doctoral degree, the latter could gain national or international recognition.

Doctoral students should pay more than $35 per semester to use GW libraries, labs and other facilities while they work on their dissertations, $680 per semester is too steep. Administrators should work to find a middle ground before GW drives away students who could boost its reputation as a top-notch research institution.

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