Students protest tuition hikes


| nkarimi@queenscourier.com |


THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

City University of New York (CUNY) undergrad students protested the fact that over the next five years, their tuition will increase by $300 – annually.

 

“I still have another three semesters to go. The increase will definitely take a load out of my pockets, especially since I’m considered an ‘out of state’ student and CUNY was supposed to be affordable,” said Nazifa Azizi, a nursing student at CUNY Hunter College.

 

CUNY’s Board of Trustees voted 15 to 1 on November 28 on the annual hikes, which would amount to a 31 percent increase in tuition over four years.

 

By 2015, undergraduate senior college students would pay $6,330 annually under the plan, compared with $4,830 in 2010. The fee for community college students would also increase to $4,800 by 2015.

 

Rita Rodin, CUNY University director of public information, said, “the annual current tuition for a senior college is $5,130 and for a community college its $3,600.”

According to Rodin, the proposed tuition increase will go into effect in the fall of 2012. The reasoning behind the increase is part of the state funding agreement.

The request is based upon CUNY’s financial model, known as the CUNY Compact, which seeks to provide stable funding through a balance of stakeholder responsibilities: public allocations, private philanthropy, operational efficiencies, revenues from increased enrollment and modest, predictable tuition increases to permit families to plan to meet college costs.

“Currently six out of 10 full-time CUNY students get covered by financial aid and 170,000 students participate in both Pell and TAP [grants], so the tuition increase shouldn’t affect those families in financial need,” said Rodin.

Reportedly, the Board also approved $5 million to aid needy students.

Shabnam Yaqubie, who is majoring in elementary education at CUNY Queens College, said, “I’m going to graduate in spring 2012. The tuition hike is not going to affect me that much, but I feel bad for future CUNY students.”

Still, CUNY officials tout the affordability of their education.

“Students save more and borrow less with CUNY and they don’t leave with a huge debt, compared to private colleges,” said Rodin.