Students in the College of Arts and Sciences might be paying more for classes next year, according to a tuition change request submitted Monday.
The College, which provides 65 percent of undergraduate student credit hours across the University, has made an initial differential tuition request to offset the College’s worsening fiscal situation.
“The model that we have now from the administration not only doesn’t allow us to develop better, it puts us at threat,” Phil Ganderton, senior associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said in a presentation to students Tuesday.
As proposed, students would pay $15 extra per credit hour, or about $225 more per semester for a typical 15 credit hour course load. That adds up to $1,800 in differential tuition paid after four years for a student taking 15 credit hours per semester.
The change would raise residents’ estimated cost of attendance from $5,646 to $6,006 per year.
That figure could be amended based on student feedback received during a month-long consultation period, the request said.
Based on the $15 increase per credit hour, the College anticipates $3.4 million in total revenue.
The request for the College of Arts and Sciences follows a string of differential tuition programs passed in recent years. The University of New Mexico School of Law, School of Engineering and Anderson School of Management all were approved differential tuition in the last five years.
The request outlined where the revenues would be spent, and administrators say all of the money will be made accessible via line-item budgets if the request is approved.
More than half of that money would go to hiring and retaining faculty. About 20 percent would be set aside to increase the financial aid compensation, and the rest will be used to hire and retain advisors and support personnel.
Specifically, an estimated $2 million would go to faculty hiring and retention, $730,000 to financial aid and $400,000 and $300,000 to the hiring and retention of instructional support personnel and advisors, respectively.
Instructional support personnel are identified as term teachers, part-time instructors and graduate assistants.
None of the revenue will be allocated to cover the cost of administrative expenses such as administrators’ salaries, the request claims.
“We want it all to go back to students,” Ganderton said. “We want it to contribute to the academic mission.”
The request is currently in the preliminary stages. To satisfy requirements, administrators will present the information to both undergraduates and graduates in all 22 of the College’s departments. A survey will also be sent out to all students next week.
Students can give direct feedback to College administration via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Associated Students of UNM President Noah Brooks provided some pushback to Ganderton during his presentation.
Brooks said students will drastically feel the effects of any tuition increase, since they are already dealing with the recent rise in fees for upper division courses and lower Lottery Scholarship tuition coverage. He wanted to see more of the funds go to financial aid and larger student input on fund distribution.
The request outlines that a student advisory board will be created to provide feedback on the use of the revenues, though nothing would be established until Regents consider the request in the spring.
The College has lost 22 faculty members within the last two years, according to the request. That makes the request for more revenues essential, Ganderton said.
“We want to retain and expand, and this is our Hail Mary attempt at that,” he said.
Brendon Gray is a beat reporter for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers ASUNM. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @notgraybrendon.