Tuition Increase Set for 2017-18 Academic Year

Tuition at Pacific has continued to inch up over the past few years.

Many college students are constantly worrying about the debt they will face after graduation as many have resorted to taking out student loans in order to pay for a higher education.

According to the Institute For College Access and Success, approximately 43 percent of 2015 college graduates in California are left with student debt. ‘This is the reality for many students at Pacific, as a tuition increase was approved for the 2017-2018 school year

University of the Pacific’s Board of Regents approved what President Pamela Eibeck refers to as a “modest tuition increase” for the 2017-18 academic year. The tuition will be increased by 3.9 percent, from $44,068 for the 2016-17 academic year to $45,786.

Furthermore, the mandatory fees used to support the wellness center, student government, and student activities and recreation, will increase by $40, to $560. The standard room-and-board plan will increase by $498, with a double-occupancy room and platinum meal plan being $13,326 for the academic year.

The tuition increase occurs every year, as President Eibeck states that “Pacific’s tuition will remain among the most competitive of any private comprehensive university in California.”

However, where exactly the money is going is currently being questioned.

“We had someone come and speak to our senate to explain where the money is going,”  Multicultural Senator Brianna Williams ’17, Political Science major, said. “After a long meeting and looking at the tuition increase we thought it would end up coming back to students, but it’s not. A lot of it is going back to administration.”

“We’re already paying enough as it is,” Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences ‘20, Jacqueline Ko said, “I personally have not taken out any loans, although I am on academic scholarships. Regardless, tuition is already expensive enough.”

With the tuition hike, President Eibeck states that “we will do everything possible to help talented students afford a Pacific education,” citing the nearly 84 percent of Pacific students who currently use financial aid.

“I depend partly on student loans to pay for my tuition here, so the fact that it will be increasing next year isn’t really great news for someone like me,” an anonymous Pacific student said.

In the 2016-17 school year, Pacific had $63.4 million available in institutional financial aid, with an additional $8 million being supplied by donors.

Pacific is not the only university expecting a tuition hike for the 2017-18 academic year. In January 2017, UC regents lifted a six-year-freeze on a tuition hike and approved a 2.5 percent increase. The increase resulted in protest and backlash from many UC students, arguing that even a single cent increase deepens their dependency on financial aid.

“As an ASUOP member, it’s kind of confusing and upsetting. We’re sitting here taking money away from Student Life organizations,” Williams said. “It seems like some of the funding would go more towards students but it’s not, it’s going more to executives.”

As a private university, Pacific already maintains a higher tuition cost than schools in the UC system. With that, a further tuition increase might not be so well-received by Pacific students.

“I don’t necessarily think it’s a good thing for students, because an increase in tuition makes it so our scholarships won’t go as far as they do now,” an anonymous freshman International Relations major said. “People already think that Pacific is an expensive university, so the more that the tuition is raised, the less that people will be interested in coming here.”

Furthermore, the tuition increase is troubling for upcoming Pacific students, who are already worried over how they’ll afford attending Pacific.

“I’ll be starting my freshman year at Pacific in the Fall of 2017,” upcoming Biology major Justin Ho said, “I’m currently figuring out my financial aid, but learning that tuition is set to increase when I begin my education at Pacific doesn’t make things much easier.”

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