South Students Return, Face Tuition Increase

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA MOVE IN DAY

There are lots of hassles when it comes to starting college…

“Why won’t this door open?”

Some obviously more serious than others. Students at University of South Alabama moved into their dorms today to start a new chapter of life.

“I’m gonna hope it goes as well as possible,” says Olivia Hernaez.

“I’m excited but I’m also like really scared ‘caus I know there’s a lot of studying involved with nursing so I have to try to keep my grades up!” says Freshman Caroline Ngo.

In addition to grades, students will have another concern: tuition. This is the fifth year in a row the board has voted to increase it. This time, by two percent.

“As far as other colleges I think it’s relatively cheap but it is a little concerning that it could get higher in the coming years,” says incoming freshmen Olivia Hernaez.

For a full time student, that’s an increase of $180 a year. That’s still lower than University of Alabama and Auburn, but it’s got students thinking.

Madison Tuttle receives financial aid and government grants and still holds down a job to stay in the black.

“I work, I mean I have to work to get a little bit extra money to pay for food and stuff like that, but yeah I do know people who work through college and it’s tough,” says Tuttle.

Many parents are worried their child doesn’t realize the enormity of student debt and will have an eye-opening experience in four years.

“We are going the financial aid route, so she will have debt to manage at the end of her time in college, and we’re just trying to look for ways to keep that down to a minimum for her,” says parent Ed Swan.

Simone Challenger is an incoming Freshman and is keeping an eye on her bank account, and says every student is different.

“It depends on how you handle it, like I obviously know how much money I had to take out so I know what I need to do in order to pay that back, but, it’s not something I’m happy about but I know I just have to deal with it,” says Simone Challenger.

Meanwhile, parents today just focusing on getting their child to that next step and hoping they’ll keep heading in the right direction.

The board also voted to increase housing by four percent and meal plans by two percent. Still, a year’s tuition at South is less than a year at Alabama, Auburn, Troy and UAB. Troy University recently announced a 5.5 percent tuition increase.

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