UA President Gamble Proposes Lowest Tuition Increase in Decade
The smallest tuition increase in over a decade—2 percent—will be presented by President Gamble to the UA Board of Regents for approval in September for the Academic year 2014 (fall 2013, spring 2014). The increase will apply to students on all 16 University of Alaska campuses. After discussing tuition in depth with UAA, UAF and UAS chancellors, staff and students over the last year, Gamble believes a modest increase is warranted – but it cannot happen without some consequences. Tuition currently makes up about 12 percent of the total university budget. Campuses will need to work creatively to offset the reduced tuition increase. “There is no free lunch,” Gamble noted. “When we squeeze this balloon, it expands the dollar shortfall to be made up elsewhere in our system.” Associate Vice President of Student & Enrollment Services Saichi Oba said, “A tuition increase isn’t something we celebrate, but the past decade has been a tough one, one of tuition rising yearly sometimes even in the double-digits.” At 2 percent, this is the lowest percentage increase since the late 1990's. The tuition increase will range from $3 to $8 per credit hour depending on the type of credit enrolled in (lower division, upper division, graduate). An undergraduate, full-time student enrolled in 15 credits, can expect a $45-$60 increase per semester starting in Fall 2013. The proposed increase allows for the cost of inflation as determined by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The proposal is framed by the ongoing national and state debate over the cost of higher education and reflects a sincere desire by the University of Alaska to keep college affordable and accessible for all Alaskans.