Students rightfully upset with St. Edward’s rising tuition

Every week the editorial board reflects on a current issue in Our View. The position taken does not reflect the opinions of everyone on the Hilltop Views staff.

Tuition increase is a necessary evil for St. Edward’s University. While it is unfortunate that tuition will be higher next year, students should celebrate that the tuition increase will be 6 percent — 2.5 percent lower than the previous year’s increase. 

The price of living in Austin in general is rising; therefore, it makes sense that the price of attending St. Edward’s, which is located in a popular area of the city, is also rising.

Because of the high demand for housing in Austin, neighborhoods are developing and property is becoming more valuable. This means higher property taxes and a higher cost of living.

It only makes sense that the cost of services the university utilizes should rise.

Students, along with the whole Austin community, must pay higher bills for utilities, food and housing.  

As students at St. Edward’s, we enjoy manicured lawns, unlimited printing, clean residence halls and free visits to the Health and Counseling Center. Professors here are enthusiastic and passionate about teaching, and they sincerely care about our educational and personal lives. Frequent free campus events like Hillfest also serve as perks of attending an expensive university.

These perks of attending a a private university come at a cost, but students should expect this when they choose to attend St. Edward’s.

Much of the tuition rise can be reasoned, and while many students are not satisfied with the yearly tuition increases, the rising cost should be expected.

What many students have advocated for is a four-year locked-in tuition rate.

Many students have also requested more transparency so they can see exactly where their tuition dollars go. 

Students look at places like the Recreation and Convocation Center and Andre Hall and question if their money is being put to good use.

Andre Hall has asbestos and no drinkable water.

“I’ll do anything to keep parents from coming to Andre,” Bill Kennedy, a professor of photo communications whose office is in the Arts Building, said last year in a Hilltop Views article about Andre Hall.

Another example is the Recreation and Convocation Center. Students need a place to be active. The Alumni Gym renovations have given students a place for intramural games and practices, but not to lift weights or use other gym equipment.

With a record number of new freshmen admitted, it is questionable that the Board of Trustees is acknowledging what the students need. Campus Ministry has been given a new home second only to the Munday Library. However, diversity is a large part of St. Edwards and no talk of a new campus Mosque has come about.

The Board of Trustees is meeting needs; focusing on buildings like Andre and the RCC, students often question whose needs are being met.

To deal with the necessary rising cost of tuition, students should seek financial assistance through scholarships and grants. To meet those requirements, the endowment must increase.

“The larger your endowment, the less pressure there is on tuition,” Vice President of Financial Affairs Kim Kvaal said in a Hilltop Views article published in early October.

Kvaal also serves as the staff resource to the Board of Trustees.

In 2013, St. Edward’s endowment was $82,658,955, according to U.S. News and World Report.