Students at Wesleyan will pay higher tuition starting summer 2013, but the office of marketing and communications said the increase will come back to the students in a positive way.
John Veilleux, vice president for marketing and communications, said a 5 percent tuition increase will take effect at the beginning of the new academic year. He said the increased tuition will help provide more accommodations for students and keep Wesleyan more competitive with scholarship offerings.
“As the cost to go to school increases, it’s very important that we remain competitive in the market in terms of what institutions are offering students to bring them in,” Veilleux said. “Yes, there’s a tuition increase but there’s going to be a correspondent increase in the amount of scholarships we award to students with need.”
Anthony Gandara Jr., junior history major and U.S. military veteran, said the increased tuition will make him revise his school plan. He said it’ll become a financial burden for him and some of his veteran student friends.
“With the increase in tuition, it’s going to bring change or conflict to my financial game plan that I already established from when I just arrived at Texas Wesleyan,” Gandara said.
He said many people have a misconception that veterans get help that covers everything, but that’s not necessarily the case.
“There’s much misconceived thoughts of veterans and their tuition that just becuase they get help it covers everyhting, but that’s not the case,” Gandara said. “As far as for me and a couple other veterans that are just hanging on by a thread, by what we are receiving from the mlitary, it’s tough and this is going to make it a little harder. It’s bitter sweet.”
Timothy Reece, international programs assistant and alumni, said that as a former student at Wesleyan he can relate to the frustration students are experiencing due to increased tuition. He said he hopes Wesleyan allocates the additional revenue correctly.
“I do think that it’s frustrating for students to see that; I’ve been through that frustration, and I hope, and I trust that the higher administration is going to use the funds wisely,” Reece said. “There’s a lot of areas that this money has got to go to; and so the way that it’s allocated, it’s gotta be done in a way that’s gonna be best for the whole university so it could remain competitive.”
Laura Hanna, director of communications, said the increased tuition will help add more academic positions.
“In the library for instance, they’re going to be adding two new clerks, eight part-time tutors, a tutor coordinator, and an academic program liaison,” Hanna said. “And there’ll also be a couple of other positions added in the business office, which every student has to deal with the business office at some point, so that’ll be additional services there.”
Veilleux said the increased tuition will also help cover indirect costs, such as salary raises for professors and staff.
“If you want to keep great faculty you have to give them a raise,” Veilleux said. “We didn’t do that last year, but that’s one thing we’re doing this year in September. There’ll be raises for faculty and staff.”
Faculty raises will just take a fraction of the money collected from the tuition increase, he said.
“Those are the type of things that those dollars go to, not just fixed costs but indirect costs,” Veilleux said. “If you think about some of the faculty that you like, in order for us to keep them, we have to offer them competitive salaries.”
Reece said as a staff member he realizes that the increased tuition plays a minor part in the overall school budget.
“Now as a staff member, I can kind a see the necessity for it,” Reece said. “The budget… it’s a complex situation, it’s got a lot of facets to it, and the tuition is only one element of the whole situation.”
Some of the extra tuition revenue will help students feel safer on campus, Veilleux said. Some of the money will go toward upgrading security and surveillance around campus.
“We did get a bid to enhance the security presence on campus with cameras, so you’re going to see the first phase of those going up next year, and that’s going to be directly attributable to some of that increase in tuition,” Veilleux said.
He also said the school will add a student life activities coordinator, which is part of a new position to help improve the student experience.
“Some of the things students talk about is wanting to enhance student life on campus, particularly for the folks who live on campus,” Veilleux said. “This position would be built directly for the purpose of really enhancing campus life.”
Gandara said the tuition increase is more beneficial for those students who are transferring in rather than those who are currently attending Wesleyan.
“It’s more suitable for people not here yet that plan on coming here,” Gandara said.