Students budget their finances and time for the semester. Figure out how much they need to work to afford school and bills. It’s no different for senior Alisha Bolton.
Starting this semester, NSU hiked fees by $150 per credit hour over 15 hours, affecting students’ plans.
Bolton now has to work more to be able to pay off school.
“I pay everything on my own so since costs went up,” Bolton said. “I’m having to have less time with schoolwork.”
Patrick Jones, chief financial officer for the office of business affairs, said the reason students were not notified of the increase sooner was because the change was not approved by the board until late December.
“We regret that it happened that way,” Jones said.
Jones said the reason for the increase was not specific. It is to help balance the budget for costs such as supplies and utilities.
Even though many of the university’s costs have gone up, Jones said the state funding has mostly stayed the same.
“As things go up, we’re trying to find ways to keep the doors open,” Jones said.
Within the last two years, some universities in Louisiana have started their incremental increase at 13 hours.
“We went with the increase at 16 and above to try to help the students,” Jones said.
Frances Conine, dean of students, said the state only pays for about 25% of the cost of educating students, so the rest of the money is raised through fees and outside sources. She also said NSU held off on increasing fees for as long as possible.
“It’s important to me that students understand that us finding money for our students to be able to go to college is paramount to what we do,” Conine said. “We really do care about trying to get funding for our students.”
Conine said the change will not apply to students who are only taking more than 15 hours because of extracurriculars such as band or pom line.
“There is a program written to exempt those classes and those hours,” she said.
At the Jan. 13 Student Government Association meeting, senators decided that the cabinet will be sending a letter to the university administration to express concerns on the lack of communication with the students regarding the fee increase.
Lara Schales contributed reporting.