Students hit with tuition and fee increase

The freshman class is not the only increase at UNA as students prepare for tuition and fee increases starting fall 2017.

The board of trustees approved an increase in tuition of 4.9 percent at their quarterly meeting June 7. This will raise tuition per undergraduate hour by $13 from $264 to $277. For a student taking 15 hours per semester, tuition will now cost $4155 per semester instead of $3960.

UNA board of trustee member William Trapp said this is to make up for a loss of funds.

“You can’t grow and shrink, and we are growing,” he said. “We are growing in terms of the number of students we have, the number of academic programs we have and in terms of activities that we offer, and that shows up in (the) budget.”

Junior Colton Hill said he thinks UNA is getting too close to charging amounts competitive with larger schools like Alabama and Auburn.

Despite the change, tuition rates will remain competitive with other Alabama universities. Rival Jacksonville State’s rate is $309 per hour, Alabama in Birmingham is $376, Troy is $316 and Alabama-Huntsville charges $300.

Graduate courses will also experience rate growth from $311 to $326 per graduate hour. If a student takes 15 graduate hours, tuition will increase from $4665 to $4890 per semester.

The price of tuition is not the only addition students will notice on their bill. On top of tuition, the board of trustees approved moving the technology fee to $14 per hour. This is a $1 increase from the 2016-17 year.

In a meeting April 21, the board of trustees approved a change in the dining dollar fee from $135 to $150. Dining dollars are redeemable at any UNA Dining location. This is a mandatory program for students taking 12 or more hours, according to

Acting Chief Financial Officer Evan Thornton said he negotiated with UNA Dining over raising students’ rates, but UNA Dining has the final decision over rates because it rents spaces from the university.

Students living on campus will see a 2.8 percent increase of rental rates. This will apply to all university dormitories and apartments.

Thornton said this rate change is expected because it follows the plan UNA proposed when the board of trustees approved the newest residence halls, Mattielou and Olive.

Thornton said he has not heard student feedback yet, but rates are still competitive with comparable universities.

Senior Jessica Danielowicz said she understands why additional tuition frustrates students, but the increase is necessary because of a lack of funding.

“I value my education, and I knew going in that this was part of going to college these days,” Danielowicz said. “I try not to complain because I am thankful for the opportunity to be at a university at all.”