Tuition rates for colleges and universities increase every year.
Rate increases usually range between 4 and 9 percent, meaning students pay hundreds more annually. Temple is no exception to this rule.
This year, undergraduate in-state students are paying $8,134, a difference of $532, and a 7 percent increase over last year’s $7,602.
However, undergraduate out-of-state students are paying $14,894, an increase of $1,038, or 7.5 percent of last year’s $13,856.
Graduate students face similar increased tuition rates for the 2003-2004 academic year.
These rates apply to full-time students only. Part-time students pay between 7.9 and 9 percent more.
Temple is a member of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education. The University is private with a state affiliation.
This allows Temple to receive funding from the state of Pennsylvania. In the past few years, the state has decreased Temple’s funding.
An “Explanation of the Temple University Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2003-2004,” published on the Budget Office’s Web site, reports the state reduced Temple’s funding by 5 percent, or $8.7 million.
The document states, “the University’s total appropriation from the Commonwealth was budgeted as $180.2 million in 2001-02; it is now projected to be $164.9 million in 2003-04.”
The University Board of Trustees agreed to raise tuition to accommodate for the lack of state appropriations and to aid in balancing the University’s budget.
Temple is also reducing wage increases by 1 percent.
The proposed budget for the 2003-2004 year is $707,927,000. This is 6.5 percent, or $43.3 million more than 2002-2003.
Other Philadelphia universities join Temple in continuing to raise tuition annually.
The University of Pennsylvania and LaSalle University boosted tuition by 4.8 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively.
Surprisingly, enrollment at Temple is increasing with tuition rates.
During the summer the University expected an enrollment of 33,265 undergraduate students.
There were 621 more students who enrolled in the summer than in the Fall 2003 semester.
Temple students have mixed reactions to the tuition increase.
Many students receive financial aid in the form of work study, grants, loans or scholarships.
Those students may not be as affected by the increase as those who do not receive any financial aid.
Sophomore Architecture major Stephanie Toye said, “The increase affected me a lot because I had to work two jobs over the summer to make up the difference. I had to dig around for scholarships that aren’t all that easy to get.”
“I don’t feel that tuition should cost that much,” Ph.D. candidate Benjamin Garrett said. “But lower tuition would mean the government would have to step in. In Europe the system is different because universities get more government subsidies, but the quality of undergraduate education isn’t as good as it is in the United States.”
The tuition increase shouldn’t necessarily leave Temple students in debt.
The financial aid budget increased by $5,291,000, or 14 percent since last year.
Work study funding increased for many financial aid students as a result.
In the U.S. higher education system, the more expensive a university, the more prestige it has.
The idea behind that principle is that students are willing to pay a high price for an excellent education.
High tuition rates mean that universities can hire prominent professors, fund more research and offer more programs and opportunities.
Some argue that professors at more expensive universities have a higher level of dedication toward each student because each student represents a higher loss of revenue for the university.
Lindsey Walker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org