Fix IUP's Fees
As IUP and President Driscoll proudly announced that they would be changing the tuition payments from flat-fees to pay-per-credit, thousands of students faced the reality that they may not be able to attend the once reasonably priced university in the coming semesters. For music students, as example, or students who thrive on taking 0 credit courses or ensembles, these will no longer be available to students, due to a pay-by-credit basis, and those taking up to and above 17.9-20 credits per semester, the cost of the university will rise significantly. Financial aid will not be changing to alter this new pricing, leaving many students in a tough decision; to stay or to go.
To alter this change, I feel that students who are already enrolled should be excused from this change, and although yes, it may cause complications, it is absolutely unfair to those of us who have been here for 3 years, or even 2 or 1, who were admitted under a certain pricing, to have to pay differently. They had announced a pricing change LAST January, and are just now announcing to change pricing a for the upcoming 2016 fall semester. The reality of this situation is that many students will be absolutely unable to afford their past credit loads, and for some students, will make a 4 year degree absolutely financially impossible. For some students even, like myself and I'm sure many others, it may come down to withdrawing from the university due to lack of funds.
Everyone needs to be aware and advocate for change. If change is presented, and other ideas are proposed, it is important that we voice our opinions. It takes one voice, one movement, and just one click to make a change. If anything else, let them notice us making a stand. It's time we speak out about this unfair act, as opposed to sitting around and letting our empty Facebook posts be shared. Share this, so we may send it to the university president. Share this so our voices can be heard. We aren't asking for the policy to be removed; but if you are here and you are already enrolled, that you stay under the same pricing that you applied into.
Adding into the changing tuition costs, we now have the numbers and the realistic facts of this tuition change, and what exactly that will mean for students all across the board. Keep in mind as I give these numbers out, they are without any other fees, and are solely based upon tuition and the numbers that have been provided to us through sources accessible to every student enrolled, part time or full time. These numbers only apply the cost of tuition, in relation to full-time students, taking 12-17.9 credits, and do not account for any other costs, such as housing, dining plans, university fees, etc., but could easily be accessed through IUP’s website, and the math could be done.
Looking at the past years, and the numbers readily available to all students via URSA and IUP’s website, our tuition numbers are as follows: PER CREDIT, for the 2015-2016 YEAR, we are currently paying $294.16. So, for example, if you were taking 18 credits, you would be paying for the additional credit over 17.9, so add the additional $294.16 onto your bill. Also important to note, for the 2015-2016 year, we are paying $3,530 a semester for credits 12-17.9.
This tuition number has steadily and averagely increased, which follows PA’s state average raise of tuition, over the past 4 years, by about 3% each year. This increase is, as stated, PA’s state average, and has been a staple in assessing financial aid needs of students, not only at IUP but other state schools as well.
The numbers that have been provided to the general public are the numbers they want us to see; they want to focus on the “positives” of this movement, and the gains of “changing student’s attitudes.” Although, yes, in certain cases, there ARE gains, and there ARE positive benefits. However, in a most general case, it is not so positive, and not as forward of a movement as they claim it to be.
The article that we all were provided access to earlier on March 28th states, “IUP’s per-credit tuition model offers tuition discounts of 7, 4, and 1 percent over the next three years…” which is a wonderful idea. Yes, a discount on the credit cost is necessary, especially if you plan to add an entirely new way of payment. However, with credits currently priced at $294.16, taking a 7% discount off of the credit cost lowers the cost of credits by about 21$, to a total of $273.57 /cr. Keeping this in mind, as pleasant as the 7% discount may sound, it is only 21$.
Heading off of that, and adding into the numbers they don’t want you to see, let’s take a peek into the average course load of 15 credits. This year, a student taking 15 credits (purely on tuition costs, remember), is being charged $3,530. Next semester, for 15 credits, in the 2016-2017 school year, you will be paying around $4,095. Which, really, doesn’t seem too bad, right? You’re still only paying about $273 per credit, which is a decrease. But, let’s look at something else.
To figure the percentage that financial aid will be increased, it is a simple math equation. If you take the new projected cost of 15 credits for the 16-17 year, you are looking at a cost of $4,095. Subtract the current cost of tuition (3,530), and you get a difference of $565. Take that $565, divide it by the current cost for the 15-16 school year, and you are looking at a 16% increase in tuition for next semester.
Now, IUP is a very wide-ranged campus, with their vast amount of both graduate and undergraduate programs offered, and a vast multitude of opportunities that are offered for us. For perhaps a double major, or a major who requires upwards of 15 credits, the tuition difference takes a gargantuan leap. Taking a peek into the life of a student who takes 18 credits a semester, with the new pricing, a student taking 18 credits per semester is looking at paying $4,914 in tuition alone. Taking that number, divided by $3,530, and you get a difference of $1,384. Finishing out the math from there, that is a 39.2% increase in tuition. Need I point back to the average increment of 3% per year? That is a total increase of OVER 30%, which is TEN TIMES the state average, and TEN TIMES the university’s previous increases.
As it looks now, with the provided numbers, the only people that will benefit from this change is a small minority of students; those who are either taking part-time classes, or students who only take 12 credits a semester, with an average savings of $200. However, the majority of students at IUP are full-time students trying to either graduate early, double major, or get out in four years, and they will struggle with these increases. Most majors, it is impossible to take 12 credits a semester. And yes, although IUP is looking into providing two additional financial aid opportunities, there are significant fine lines in those programs as well.
These programs are requiring you to not have reached 120 credit hours, have a minimum GPA of 3.0, and have no withdraws on their transcript within the last 2 semesters, can qualify for up to 2 credit hours’ worth of funding towards the new program. Although fantastic, I do believe this is a one-time benefit for students, and therefore will not be applied in the future. Those students taking an extra semester are then facing the threat of receiving no additional financial aid towards this change, and are facing a 16% increase in tuition.
These changes are dramatic, and absolutely unnecessary. The information provided to you above is information that is accessible to all students, and if you want to see the math and do them for yourself, contact me individually and I will gladly provide the formulas that I’ve done to you. This is outrageous, and if you are one of the lucky few who will be saving an average of $200, congratulations. For most students who average a 15 credit course load or higher, this is an absolute threat to our educational progress, as well as our educational futures at this university. They wish to “change students’ attitudes” to be more positive, but the only thing they’re changing them to is negative. Waking up and realizing the hard facts, not just opinions, is something that is real and needs to be recognized. Everyone needs to be paying attention to these numbers, and calculating it out for yourself. Words can change, but numbers will never lie. With enough voices, we will be heard.
All information has been sourced from the following article;
And also, has been listed from the Indiana Gazette. I claim no rights to the posted article, or any quotes from the article, and the opinions posted here are not directly influenced or in agreeance with those of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, or President Driscol. They are purely opinions, the math is solely provided through myself, and should not be taken as the opinion of any of the above people/offices except for I, the creator of this petition.