Students at the University of Connecticut expressed their relief regarding the removal of certain fees for fiscal year 2019 at a town hall meeting Tuesday night, but concerns about overall tuition costs remain.
Chief Financial Officer Scott Jordan said at the town hall that the university will not increase student fees for the 2018-2019 year and that fees related to specific majors and courses, which cost hundreds of dollars for students in certain programs, will be cut going forward.
“I always thought it was ridiculous to pay to take a class when you’re already paying tuition,” Patricia Jimenez, a second-semester political science major, said. “I’m glad they took that out, but we’re going to need to get the money somehow.”
Jimenez’s sentiments were echoed by Janissa Vidal, a second-semester political science major.
“There are no increases, so that’s a good thing,” Vidal said. “But what we’re still trying to understand as students is now how tuition is going to go up.”
These fees will be absorbed into the central university budget and will not affect tuition rates beyond the scheduled increases, Jordan told the Daily Campus.
“I think it’s great,” Sabine Laszakovits, a linguistics graduate student, said. “I hope we don’t have to deal with any negative side effects that weren’t talked about today.”
A concern regarding possible cuts to student services and programs was also raised by Sean Ooi, a natural resource and economics graduate student.
“On one hand, I’m relieved that fees are not increasing, but I also have concerns that we’re still in a budget crunch right now,” Ooi said, “My concern is, are support services going to face any cuts to compensate for not raising fees?”
Jordan said he does not anticipate any changes to student services.
Laszakovits said she is glad the university held the town hall so students could ask questions and raise concerns about the changes.
“It’s a decision that impacts lots of people,” Laszakovits said. “I think it’s great the administration is having this event.”
Vidal said she was pleased with how Jordan and the other presenter at the town hall, Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Jeremy Teitelbaum, responded to students.
“It was very clear, and they answered every question,” Vidal said. “It was good.”
Jimenez said she wished the event had been better advertised to students.
“I felt like the presentation was good, but it should have been advertised more,” Jimenez said. “A lot of students don’t check their UConn email if it’s not addressed to them personally.”
The proposed changes will be submitted to the UConn Board of Trustees for approval on Feb. 21, according to UConn Today.
Jordan said he anticipates the board will approve the fees.