Breaking the bank: Potential increase in student fees for 2018 fiscal year

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Information for this article attributed to Kemal Atkins is derived from both a one-on-one interview, as well as the Student Assembly meeting minutes from November 29.

While tuition has been talked about being frozen for the 2017-2018 school year, students at Keene State College still may see an increase in cost to attend the school during the 2018 fiscal year.

KSC administration is proposing up to a two percent increase in student fees during the 2018 fiscal year to help with the costs associated with fee-supported areas.

KSC senior Emily Blanchard said she had heard of the increase from friends. “It sucks, we’re already broke,” she said. Blanchard said she hopes the money actually goes to areas that need it. “I just don’t feel like the school always puts money where it’s needed,” she said.

Blanchard said she’s in the Media Arts Center a lot of the time. “It’s falling apart, there’s water stains and water that drops from the ceiling on our computers,” she explained. However, she included that she’s not always in other buildings as often.

Samantha Moore / Art Director

Samantha Moore / Art Director

Blanchard said however, she’d rather pay a little more in fees than in tuition.

According to KSC Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Kemal Atkins, the increase will primarily be put into place to cover the rising costs of goods and services provided to the college due to inflation, as well as helping boost departments that have seen a reduction in funds in recent years and providing security for budgets if enrollment numbers fall below expectation.

“When you’re looking at a fee increase as small as two percent, primarily it really takes into consideration the inflationary cost based on consumer prices. So, in that regard, it doesn’t necessarily generate a large amount of additional revenue, but it does help to offset some of the costs of doing business, primarily,” Atkins said.

The departments that would be experiencing an up to two percent increase in fees and funds because of this proposal would be the Young Student Center, the Center for Health and Wellness, Technology Education, Recreational Sports, Parking Services and Athletics, according to Atkins in the meeting minutes from the KSC Student Government meeting on Nov. 29.

KSC Vice President for finance and planning Daniel Petree, per the meeting minutes, also said that fees associated with the counseling center are proposed to go up by three percent.

The cost for dining as proposed by KSC, according to Atkins, could potentially go up by up to three percent. The cost of housing could potentially increase by up to six percent.

These increases, according to Atkins, also coincide with inflation rates, as well as paying for programs to be kept in place put on by the dining staff and students in the Zorn Dining Commons, paying costs associated with the new Living and Learning Commons residence hall cover maintenance costs of the residential buildings and better support students in the Counseling Center.

Money for student activities could also increase because of the change in student fees. Student Government Treasurer Casey Matthews said that student government has proposed a student activity fee increase of three percent.

She said that the money will hopefully allow groups and clubs around campus to make the most out of their time at the college and create new opportunities as well, while giving some of the smaller, lower-budget groups some of the same chances as the larger student organizations.

“I think it’s nice that just because they are a smaller club with a smaller budget, they could still do things that larger clubs are doing. Like, we have that support to give them,” Matthews said.

Overall, Matthews said that she doesn’t believe that the increase in student fees will have a large impact on students’ ability to attend the college.

“I think the fee increases are very minimal… I think a lot of it is just to keep with the times and the demand for things that are needed,” Matthews said.

Atkins said that the college’s proposal will go before the USNH board of trustees in January, where they will have the decision to accept, deny or adjust the terms of the proposal.

More updates on the proposal will be made as they become available.

Jacob Barrett can be contacted at jbarrett@kscequinox.com

Articles in this featured series:

“Breaking the bank: Update on budget cuts across Keene State College campus”

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