Board of Education votes against tuition hike

The Lane Board of Education voted unanimously to not raise tuition, for the first time in many years. Before the decision was made, half a dozen students voiced their opinion at the board meeting on April 13.

Many students at Lane were concerned about the increase. Between school, work and family, many already feel overwhelmed.

“Students are already struggling. I’ve seen students who go hungry because they had to pay for $500 for a physics textbook. We can’t add a tuition increase on top of that,” Maria Dresser, ASLCC vice president said.

Mariana Sophia Paredones, ASLCC state affairs director, also shared with the board the personal effect tuition has on her.

“I personally can’t afford for tuition to go higher than where it currently stands. I know this is true for students on campus. I had to take last term off because I couldn’t afford it,” Paredones said.

Paredones has witnessed the effect it has on other students.

“I have seen too many of my friends and peers have to drop out [of school] and go to work to pay off loans that went into trying to get a better education, but they couldn’t complete it,” Paredones said.

Although the decision has been made to not raise tuition, there was a potential issue with one of the board’s policies, BP725, which states:

“In order to maintain a constant tuition rate relative to inflation, each December, the board will adjust the per credit tuition rate to reflect changes in an appropriate index for two-year public colleges since the last tuition adjustment.”

The index Lane has traditionally used is the Higher Education Price Index, which measures inflation relative to higher education in the United States. The HEPI called for a $3 increase in tuition in order to keep pace with inflation.

The decision by the board to not raise tuition this year means there will be a $700,000 deficit in the proposed budget for next school year.

“I think that the decision to not raise tuition has its pros and cons. On one hand, students don’t have to scramble to pay for school, which is already expensive,” Megan Davis, Lane student, said. “On the other, the school may have to cut funding to classes or activities that aren’t a priority.”

The proposed 2016-17 budget doesn’t include cuts to programs or services according to Brian Kelly, vice president of College Services.

Video by Hunter Ruland