Viewpoint: Tuition raises

The thought of higher tuition is probably a sentiment that has made every Weber State University student shudder at one point or another.

We are a commuter university, giving quality education at a considerably lower price to a community that might not have been able to afford it otherwise.

Many students at WSU are nontraditional. This demographic includes single or stay-at-home parents trying to get a higher education to help support their families, students who delayed enrollment into college in exchange for a full-time job because they couldn’t afford to shell out thousands of dollars to play around for several years at a name-brand university, or even high-school dropouts who have found the time to get their GEDs and are now trying to make futures for themselves that will not involve being behind a fast-food counter.

Many of these students, even traditional students, are relying heavily on financial aid, grants and loans just to get them through one semester, hoping they continue to qualify. This hinders their ability to afford on-campus living expenses, or even spending $50 on a book for class that might be needed elsewhere.

Because of these reasons, adding even a few hundred dollars to WSU’s tuition might seem to be in the opposite interest of the average Wildcat. However, if we look at what this money is intended for, is it really all just a nerve-racking sum of money that gives no benefit in return?

With most of the 21st-century generation seeming to own at least one wireless digital device, improved WiFi connection might seem just a little bit important. We need to be able to access our e-mails, our student portals, our school assignments, our Facebook and Twitter accounts, all while being able to download the latest version of Angry Birds from the app store. Heaven forbid those rights be denied to us in even one building, but accurate WiFi connection is a mandatory  part of student living no matter what school you attend nowadays.

Also, a great majority of WSU students also hold a job on campus. The same rate of wages has been maintained for several years, even though the price of everything else keeps rising. Having a pay raise at their daily jobs is something that can be used to greatly benefit these Wildcats, especially the nontraditional ones.

Everything, from the quality of the facilities and teachers to the amount of money you get for a scholarship or to work at the Starbucks in the union building, all depends on how much WSU has coming in every semester. That can only be improved if it can have a deeper cash pool it can use to dig into.

This being said, if WSU is trying to improve its notoriety and appeal as a school by improving its facilities, putting a higher raise on non-resident students might not be the ideal plan. If the goal is to advertise WSU out of the commuter community, it might be a good idea to give students across the country looking for a chance to spend their days at WSU a slightly better tuition option.

No matter what the consensus is, though, the nights of tossing and turning with nightmares of tuition raises are over. They are now reality. The best thing to do now is to sit back and see if they actually utilize our money to the best of their abilities, and make this already-discounted college experience worth every extra $100 we now have to spend.