Tuition troubles hinder student success
There are many students on campus who are high achievers — those who spend their days and nights studying to achieve the satisfaction that can only come from exceptional grades and formidable GPAs. Many of these students believe that if UNLV gives them the tools to succeed, anything is possible.
But there are some students who do not get the help they need. These students have the potential to reach top of their class, but are forced to drop out because of the high cost of increased tuition.
UNLV is home to over 27,000 students. The total number of undergraduates is currently sitting at a solid 22,432.
Kevin Hartung, kinesiology major, said he had to take a break from UNLV because the cost of tuition became too high and money became very tight in his household.
“My dad lost his job two months ago and I don’t have much money left in my college fund,” he said. “Tuition was a bit of an issue even before [my father] lost his job.”
Although UNLV has been ranked as one of the best colleges in the nation because it supplies an exceptional education without a giant price tag, the cost of tuition is still very costly for many students and their families, leaving a quality four-year degree out of their reach.
Tuition increased by 73 percent between 2007 and 2011, and it is going to get even higher. The Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents recently announced that tuition will increase another 2 percent this year. That means that tuition will have increased by nearly 100 percent since 2007.
This past academic year, the cost of in-state tuition at UNLV was about $6,500. For students that decide to live on campus, UNLV tacks on an additional $10,524. According to U.S. News College Compass, a college-ranking site, there are about 60 percent of students attending UNLV who receive some sort of financial aid in the form of loans or grants.
This may not seem like a lot from some viewpoints, but that 60 percent comes out of 70 percent of students that apply. Ultimately, only 11 percent of students actually get enough aid to meet all of their financial needs.
Out-of-state tuition is more than double the amount of resident tuition. Non-resident students are charged 150 percent more of the in-state tuition rate, so an out-of-state student pays about $20,480 in registration and fees per year.
Hospitality major Dillon Pauu is originally from Hawaii. Pauu did go to UNLV, but dropped his courses because the non-resident tuition fees were getting extremely expensive.
“I was only able to go to [UNLV] for a year before money became an issue,” he said. “I had to give up school for an entire year now so that I could claim independence and live on my own. If all goes well, and I am able to declare residency, then hopefully I can return in fall of 2014.”
Pauu is still worried about how high tuition is getting.
“If school remains this expensive, I don’t know how I’ll even be able to pay in-state tuition,” he said. “If it doesn’t work out financially, then my future in education will just have to be on hold for now.”
Jordan Manalo, a business major and another Hawaiian native, believes that the cost of tuition outweighs his desire to receive an education. Manalo does not want to be another student that spends the rest of his life paying off a school loan.
“Tuition is growing so high that, for me, means I will be in too much debt to even have a future,” Manalo said. “I have to keep taking off semesters, which just prolongs my graduation, which will take me longer to graduate, which in the end is just too long to even start a career. I just don’t see the point anymore.”