Next school year, students at the University of Wyoming will pay 4 percent more than this year, and students around campus had some good — and bad — things to say about it.
The tuition increase, approved by the UW Board of Trustees last week, will amount to about $75 more per semester for residents and $285 for nonresidents, a UW release states.
Half of the 4-percent increase, or about $1 million, will go to faculty salary and retention. Academic unit support will receive a quarter of the revenue while information technology and UW libraries will split the remaining $500,000, the motion states.
Because a majority of the new funds will go toward faculty, junior marketing major Madeline Curry from Cheyenne said she supports the increased tuition.
“I’m not opposed to (the increase) at all,” she said. “It’s going to actually help things important to students.”
Curry has experienced the effects of faculty loss first-hand in her department.
“In the College of Business, they’ve had a hard time with retention of long-term staff,” she said. “Just this semester, they put me in a class with some random first-year professor.”
Deanna Truzcek, a junior anthropology major from Colorado Springs, Colorado, agreed the increased revenue for faculty retention was the right decision.
“At least it’s going toward stuff that’s more appropriate like staff salary instead of a new stadium,” she said.
Christopher Rasmussen, a senior in secondary education from Norway, said he knows why the increase passed, but doesn’t necessarily think it’s the right course of action.
“I think the increase is against the Wyoming Constitution, which says to keep (tuition) as near to free as possible,” he said. “I understand the increase — that doesn’t mean I agree with it.”
Rasmussen said some people defend the increase by saying UW has the lowest tuition in the country.
“It’s known as the cheapest university in the U.S.,” he said. “I don’t want them to lose that title.”
The tuition, which has been increasing annually since 2010, could turn some students away from attending UW, especially nonresident students, said fourth-year student Charles O’Neill, a UW transfer who spent two years at a community college in his home state of Colorado.
“A major reason I came (to UW) instead of (Colorado State University) is because it was cheaper here,” he said.
He needs to stay at UW for another year before earning enough credits to graduate.
Truzcek, also from Colorado, said the tuition being lower here than any in-state university was a factor in her attending UW.
“Right now, it’s cheaper to come here than any in-state colleges,” she said. “(The tuition increase) could lessen the gap, and people would stay in their home state.”
Regardless if students support the tuition increase or not, Curry said they’re stuck with it.
“We have to live with it anyway,” she said. “There’s nothing we can do to stop it.”
Tuition increases by school year during the past 10 years
2.2 percent: 2006-2007
0 percent: 2007-2008
0 percent: 2008-2009
0 percent: 2009-2010
5.3 percent: 2010-2011
5.1 percent: 2011-2012
1.9 percent: 2012-2013
1.9 percent: 2013-2014
4.6 percent: 2014-2015
4 percent: 2015-2016
4 percent: 2016-2017