Student input should be considered before restructuring tuition schedule.
The Audit, Budget and Finance Committee made the right decision Sept. 13 when trustees tabled a proposed change to the in-district tuition fee schedule to collect student input.
The proposed schedule replaces the flat rate of $504 for one to six credit hours with a per-hour rate of $86.
The proposed rate would have anyone with more than five credit hours paying more in tuition, with full-time students at 12 hours paying an additional $159 and students taking 15 hours paying $236 more.
Also, students who take 18-24 hours in the fall and spring could enroll in three to six credit hours in the summer at no charge.
District 8 trustee Clint Kingsbery said the proposed change would positively affect student success by incentivizing students to take more courses.
However, 74 percent of students in the Alamo Colleges are part-time students with jobs and lives they need time for.
Kingsbery said it took him eight years to obtain a bachelor’s degree and he wishes he could have benefited from such a plan.
Also, administrators say students who take more courses are more engaged and, thus, more successful, plus they receive more financial aid.
But the administration put this proposal on the committee’s agenda without gathering any information from the students it would affect.
The board questioned if students had been consulted about the proposed change.
They wisely instructed the administration to gather student input and research the effect.
It is inexcusable this was put on the committee agenda without seeing the impact on students or even discussing it with the student trustee.
Why do we have a student trustee if he’s not asked about things that affect students?
Thankfully, the board’s realization of this oversight shows better leadership than the administrators who plow ahead with no thought to students other than how they can be used to win prizes.