Last-minute tuition spike hurts students’ wallets

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Not all trustees favor raising tuition for students across the board. 

The Alamo Colleges board of trustees believes it’s in students’ best interest to raise tuition to fund the hiring of more advisers at this college.

The board approved an increase in tuition Oct. 27 for spring 2016.

Registration begins Nov. 16.

The tuition hike was approved 5-3.

District 1 trustee Joe Alderete, District 4 trustee Marcelo Casillas and District 3 trustee Anna Bustamante, board chair, voted against the increase.

The rest of the trustees need to take note of the three trustees’ opposition because that indicates some understanding of the difficulties students face in going to college.

While it’s good the board wants more advisers directing students to new pathways to degrees, the board should consider the impact of a midyear tuition increase on students with fixed budgets and expenses.

With registration less than a month away, students do not have time to plan for additional costs.

Financial aid awards for returning students have already been determined.

An in-district student taking 12 semester hours will pay an additional $42 in the spring. But an out-of-state student will have to pay an additional $215.

It may not seem like a lot to trustees who have recently approved building a $55 million district headquarters, but to students, any additional tuition is a burden.

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