Change in tuition billing given try

Jonathan Gneiser

Beginning in 2002, incoming freshman at UW-Stout will be the first students within the UW system to undergo a new format for paying their tuition.

UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stout students have the same plateau concept of paying tuition.

Leaving its tuition plateau concept behind, UW-Stout will introduce a per credit plan which charges the student a set cost of $104 dollars per enrolled credit.

Currently under the plateau concept at UW-Stout, full-time students (12 credits or more) pay the same amount per semester ($504) as long as they take between 12 and 18 credits.

Students will see their tuition rise or fall respective to the number of credits taken fewer than 12 or over 18.

Under the plateau concept at UW-Stout, a student taking 12 credits is charged a flat rate of $504. Under the per credit scheme, that same student would be charged $416.

However, a student enrolled in 15 credits at UW-Stout pays the same $504 per semester. The new per credit system will increase that student’s tuition to $520 per semester.

UW-Stout’s new tuition scheme will stay in effect for the next six years by which time all students will be under the per credit tuition system.

“The people who are taking a lot of credits get hurt in the long run because they’d have to pay more,” Stout junior Elise Berndt said

Berndt, who is taking 14 credits, said she has always taken a minimum of 14 credits, but saw the benefits for those taking less than 15 credits.

“It would be nice for the people who are taking less classes,” she said. “They would be able to pay a lesser amount.”

Vice Chancellor Andy Soll said under the per credit plan, some students will graduate more quickly as they focus more on the credit hours they need to take to graduate. However, Soll said (under the per credit system) students may not take as many classes outside their major and be exposed to as many different ideas.

“The Student Senate has traditionally been opposed to (the per credit system),” said Finance Commission Director Nate Otto.

Otto said that under the current tuition system at UW-Eau Claire, students have had the advantage of taking more classes outside of their major without suffering an additional financial setback.

Otto also pointed out that under the per credit system, some students may be unable to take a class required by their major because they cannot afford it at that given time.

Soll said that the issue has been discussed at the UW-System level and campuses within the UW System have been given a chance to decide what’s best for their own respective university.

“Eau Claire has not had a serious, in-depth effort to consider the issue on this campus,” Soll said. “I expect that at some point we possibly will.”