A rise in tuition will leave students with ‘Empty Pockets’

Kelly Tyko

With some members referring to the tuition increase as a “slam dunk,” FAU’s Board of Trustees (BOT) decided to raise tuition to the maximum amount.

Every university in the state will start the fall semester off with increases – one state mandated, and the other that was done at the discretion of each individual university.

Student Body President Pablo Paez, who’s also a member of the BOT, had the one opposing vote. His argument: “Within the state university system, FAU ranks first. FAU has the highest tuition, in terms of matriculation and fees.”

Other trustees were unmoved that FAU was the highest. Trustee Bruce Warshal said, “I have sympathy for the students. I understand what it’s like to go to school and not have money. But we’re the 48th out of 50 states. There are only two other states that have lower in-state tuition.

Paez disagreed with Warshal’s comment saying, “As far as Florida being the 48th lowest for college, it’s also fair to take into account that this state has lower salaries and pay rates than other states. Lower job opportunities and salaries.”

During the BOT’s finance committee’s meeting, a student asked what would he be getting for the added expense.

Vice-chairman Norman Tripp responded, “We have an obligation as trustees to make this university stronger and financially sound.

“What do you get? Hopefully a strong education. Hopefully we make your degree more valuable. But it takes dollars to do that,” Tripp said.

The reason that tuition is an issue now, is because it’s been too low in this state for 20 years, Tripp said. “They (state legislature) knew when the issue came up during an election year that it was a risk. They should have raised tuition. In my mind we’re only here because the legislature didn’t do the job they’re supposed to do,” Tripp said.

Trustee Warshal agreed that the increase was a job the board should do, saying they should go for the “whole enchilada” and that this increase was a “slam dunk.”

“You’re getting the buy of the century at FAU and that’s with the increases. I must tell you we don’t owe out-of-state students as much. We don’t have to be the buy of the century for them,” Warshal added.

Where the increases’ money will go is still up to debate.

Outgoing President Anthony Catanese said, “Many students have told me that they rather see this money go to add classes. We can discuss that.”

Catanese and the board authorized for a half student committee to be created to help decide where the money goes.

Paez says he’s happy for small favors: “We’re just asking to have some input to where our money goes.”