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Letter to the Editor

Sept. 26, 1996

Sloan, regents need to understand student financial burdens

Once again, as students become comfortable with their schedules and begin the process of deciding what classes to take next semester, the regents decide to put forth a plan to torture the students while fattening their own wallets. It is as though the regents feel that any tuition hike is justified in this age of inflation (wasn't that the same argument in the 1980s?) and higher minimum wage (I thought that was to compensate for the rise in consumer costs?). Dr. Sloan has taken a lot of criticism concerning his hiring practice, but I believe it is his and the regents' tuition policies which should be scrutinized. How many raises in tuition in the past five years are necessary?

Every year of my attendance here at Baylor, four total, the tuition was raised. The regents have long prided themselves on the fact that Baylor's tuition is one of the lowest of any private institution of higher education. I came to Baylor because it was a better education, and the tuition was not outrageous. Next year, the price goes up to nearly $300 per semester hour. With the federal government ready to restrict federal financial aid monies distributed to private universities, how do the regents expect to attract intelligent but perhaps financially disadvantaged students?

It is pitiful that these same regents have proposed a plan to relieve the burden of this hike. They propose a payment plan could be instituted but at an additional cost. I do not believe that Baylor students can get excited about such a proposition.

The regents, however, go further to insult the intelligence of the student with their new 'fixed-tuition' idea. I, along with countless others, have suggested this a number of times prior to now, as it only recently dawns upon the regents to try and make up for their past oversight. . . .

I am not unsympathetic to the duty of the regents. I am not ignorant of inflation or the ever-increasing cost of providing a good education, but I cannot believe that there is not a better way than the current method. I applaud their efforts of the past few years. Students finally can register by telephone, there are more computers available to the student, and the general standard of living here at Baylor has increased. I simply do not think that these advances are ample justification for the way the students have been treated. I love Baylor, and I will never regret my choice to attend this university, but the regents and their reprehensible policies concerning tuition are doing their best to make me regret it. . . .

Should I choose another path, however, the one thing that I will not miss is the lack of respect for student finances that the Baylor regents seem to exhibit from year to year.

Please, Dr. Sloan and men and women of the Board of Regents, I know that I could not do your job, but I have to believe that there must be a better way.

Daniel Ramirez

Chemistry 1997

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