Incentive plan impacts international students

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International student tuition increased $1,000.

By Grace Reyes

The Alamo Colleges has increased tuition and provided free summer classes for students who complete the incentive plan, which requires 18 hours from fall and spring to get three free hours of credit in the summer.

Although the tuition increase is minor to in-district students, it has affected the international students greatly.

“It’s been a hardship because the prices went up without a lot of warning,” Martha Buchanan, coordinator of international students said.

The increase of the tuition rate has made it more expensive to go to Alamo Colleges rather than a university.

With the incentive plan, the district’s full cost for full-time international students is $24,358, compared to UTSA’s cost of $22,383, or almost $2,000 more.

This estimate includes the total of the tuition, living expenses, and books and supplies.

Before the incentive plan, the international students paid $375 per credit hour or $4,507 for 12 hours as a full-time student.

After the incentive plan, students now pay $453 per credit hour or $5,436 for 12 hours, almost $1,000 more than the former cost.

“I’m not only dealing with the persistence students who carry over and see the changes and be shocked,” Buchanan says. “I’m also dealing with new students who come in here (in the spring) and say, ‘That’s not what you said, you never said anything about the increase.’”

For international students before they come to the U.S. they are required to show that they had enough money to come study in the United States.

Not only do they have to pay the increased tuition but also contend with the fluctuation of the dollar.

“It’s a double whammy, for the parents and the students, paying for the extra expenses,” Buchanan says.

However, on the Alamo Colleges page it still indicates that the full price for international students is $22,500, which leads to misinterpretations due to lack of new information.

The new tuition amount is found only on St Philip’s and San Antonio College’s international student pages.

“The people who want to come in the fall are looking at the old prices on the district’s website, where it’s supposed to show a united force, but it’s still showing the old prices,” Buchanan says.

The international students who have come in the fall semester and are here for the spring can take advantage of the incentive plan.

However, if they come in the spring they have to wait to use the benefits for the following summer.

“The people who contracted in the spring, contracted for the old information that is still on the website, and we don’t have an emergency refund (to help with the increased tuition),” Buchanan says.

For more information, call enrollment services at 210-486-0116.


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