Fee Hikes for UConn

STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) — On the University of Connecticut’s campus, UConn pride is on display.

“UConn has state-of-the-art, literally everything,” said Caio Goncalves, a junior at UConn. “The dorms are great. So, you pay for an excellent quality of living while you’re here.”

The price of a UConn Nation education is about to go up again.

A hike in room and board expenses for the fall of 2017 was just approved by the Board of Trustees today.

“The room and board cost will be adjusted by 3 percent each year for the next three years,” said Stephanie Reitz, a UConn spokesperson.  “That covers the increased cost of running the residential program, running the dorms, providing the food, the labor costs.”

That means the cost of a student food plan and university housing combined will increase about $400 a year. Students appreciate the need, but see the dollar signs adding up.

This comes after last year’s decision to raise tuition over the next 4 years by about 7 percent a year.  The first tuition hike kicked in this fall.

“I see both sides,” said Goncalves. “But if the state expects in-state students to stay in the state afterwards and not move somewhere where they can have a cheaper cost of living, it’s definitely not the way to go.”

The biggest hike falls to international students.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” said Lynn, a student from Vietnam who wanted to give her first name.  “It’s really expensive for international students to be here, but we really want to be here because we want to broaden our horizons.”

International students will pay an extra $350 per semester in fees.

“That will directly cover the cost of the visa compliance, English language learning and other academic supports for our international students,” said Reitz.  “In the past those services were covered by our general money but since they are so specific to that population it’s only fair to have a fee that specifically covers that that’s paid by that population.”

There will be a potential increase in transit fees of $20 a semester.

“However it will only be actually charged,  if the state’s fast track bus system has extended to Storrs at that time and if we can participate in what’s called the you pass system,” said Reitz. “It would give them access to get to the mall, get to Storrs, go home for the weekends.”

Some fees were removed.  An escrow and malpractice fee were eliminated for a savings of about $60.

The Executive MBA program will see an increase in fees of about $6,000 by 2018.The Nursing school will also see an increase of about $1,600 by 2018.

UConn says even with these fee increases for in-state students, it sill provides a quality education at a lower cost.

According to UConn, the price tag for tuiton and fees at UMASS is over $32,000 annually.  And, for the University of Rhode Island? That state university averages close to $29,000 a year. UConn’s in-state tuition is just around $14,000.

“We are a very good value,” said Reitz.

UConn’s President, Susan Herbst , announced today that a committee will look at the fees and see if there is anything that can be combined or cut.  Unless there are decreases that can be passed on to the students, the next time the university will look at fees and tuition will be in 2020.

To see the outline of the Board of Trustees Agenda for fees click here.

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