Tuition at Utah State University is set to increase 5 percent for the 2017-18 school year.
Half of the increase is due to state legislators requiring a salary increase for faculty and staff at the university level. The other half was requested by university leaders.
The university hasn’t made a request to increase Utah State’s tuition since 2015, but university president Noelle Cockett said she believes the increase is best for the school.
“We are not doing anything that isn’t necessary,” Cockett said.
Because Utah State is a public university, 57 percent of total tuition costs will be paid for by the state and students will pay the other 43 percent.
The additional money will be spent on a $10 salary increase for all Utah State faculty, providing more professors tenure, new math placement test preparation software, additional funding for the Health and Wellness center, an additional counselor for the Counseling and Psychological Services Center, scholarship support, software licensing costs for the Information Technology department and inflation costs.
The increase means students taking 12-18 credits who qualify for resident tuition will pay $145.31 more than last year, for a total of $3,052.25 per semester. When student fees are included, the increase amounts to $154.53 — $3,587.32 total.
USU student body president Ashley Waddoups said she spent two months working with Cockett to ensure students were represented in the decision to raise tuition.
“I think it is our natural inclination to be upset about spending more money, but we need the things this increase will give us,” Waddoups said.
Waddoups said her biggest concern with the increase is how other student representatives will react to the additional funding going to the Health and Wellness Center. Waddoups said she encouraged Cockett to increase the center’s funding after the USU Fee Board rejected funding for the center through student fees.
“You could say that I was stepping over the fee board on raising this but I don’t see it that way,” Waddoups said. “If the fee board would have known our Health and Wellness center would have had to cut the counselors and graduate students they would have voted differently.”
Despite Waddoups’ concerns, Cockett believes the right decisions were made for all the increases.
“We are trying to be as economical and stretch our money as far as possible,” Cockett said. “I look forward to seeing these new things implemented next year.”
Graphic by Emmalee Olsen