After incurring the recent tuition hikes, some students are taking on extra responsibilities to manage the burden.
Whether students spent their summer days lounging on the beach or balancing a heavy schedule of summer classes, it’s back to the fall-semester grind as students now must deal with the added stress of tuition increases introduced to Temple this year.
Thanks to Gov. Tom Corbett’s budget cuts, Temple saw a 19 percent reduction in state funding. This is far less than the originally proposed 50 percent, which would have amounted to approximately $625 million being cut from the 14 state owned, and four state-related schools, including Temple.
For Temple, that would have meant an $80-$90 million cut. However, the cut still resulted in an increase of tuition; $1,170 for out-of-state students and $1,172 for in-state students.
Thankfully, this is far less than the $5,200 increase many students had braced themselves for earlier this year. To keep up with tuition bills, some students are finding they need to take on more responsibilities or seek alternative financial options.
“I was bracing myself for the worst,” said Michael Warring, a sophomore university studies major who pays out-of-state tuition costs. “I even considered taking a semester off or transferring.”
Warring’s fears were put to ease after Temple finalized its budget, which included increased financial aid to make up for the cuts.
“Thankfully, my aid was not affected,” said Warring, who is working full-time this semester.
Along with a financial aid increase of $6.8 million, Temple has expanded its network of community college partners to help students save costs their first two years.
According to provost and senior vice president of academic affairs, Richard Englert Temple strives to, “support students and their success.”
“We have added dollars to the student-aid budget, reduced the operating budget to avoid tuition pressure and have avoided cutting programs,” Englert added.
The university has also added 13 advising positions in order for students to get the support they need to remain on-track and to graduate as early as possible. Students can also visit Student Financial Services to discuss aid and find options for expenses they need covered.
Despite Temple’s financial assistance efforts, returning to Temple this fall was no longer an option for some students.
Former Temple student Eric Brant said he looked for loan options and considered getting a second job, but returning to Temple was not a possibility this year. Instead, Brant will spend the fall semester working and is considering enrolling in the Community College of Philadelphia in the spring.
“I wanted to come back, and maybe at some point I will, but right now [it’s not an option],” he said.
Before the increase in tuition costs, Brant was using private loans and money from his job to cover what financial aid didn’t. He chose to take a semester off because he could no longer obtain additional private loans to cover expenses.
“I thought about working more and getting on the payment plan Temple offers, but I still wouldn’t have been able to cover everything,” Brant said.
Even with tuition increases, Temple still remains 30 percent less expensive than Penn State University and 25 percent less than the University of Pittsburgh.
Warring chooses to remain optimistic about his future at Temple, despite the more money he’ll have to invest in his education.
“I know kids who juggle working full-time with internships and going to school,” he said. “I don’t see myself leaving Temple because of [the increase], unless it happens again.”
Englert remains adamant about Temple providing students with the resources they need.
“As educators, our job is to make sure students succeed,” he said. “We are doing everything possible to make sure students reach their goal and that they leave Temple with a degree.”
Ann Weaver Hart said in a July article in The Temple Times that, “We remain dedicated to providing a high quality public education to tens of thousands of students who have come to rely on Temple University. Our commitment to quality- like the commitment to our students- will remain this year and in the years to come.”
Sydney Scott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org