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Tuition increases cover new programs

Rosalyn Reyes, a senior mathematics major, fills out financial aid paperwork in Woody Hall on Aug. 30. Statewide cuts have affected students receiving Cal Grants through their financial aid packages. Aid is determined heavily upon students’ family income and financial need. / photo by Kelley Maggiulli

Sarah Veissalov
Staff Writer

While the University of La Verne had an impressive increase in admitted students, that did not mean tuition was decreased. Instead it was increased 6.5 percent to $33,350 this year.

The high unemployment rate in California and the state’s poor economy caused many students to stretch their tight budgets and take out large student loans to pay their tuition.

“The largest cost in every university, including La Verne, is salaries,” said Homa Shabahang, vice president of enrollment management, who oversees student recruitment, admissions and financial aid among other departments.

“Most of our tuition money goes toward salaries,” Shabahang said.

“The rest goes to technology, updating the facilities, renovation of the old residence halls, as well as events put on by staff and students.”

“Students believe technology is less expensive, that is true if you are purchasing as an individual, but paying for a whole university is very expensive,” Shabahang said.

“We are trying to make sure we have enough resources,” she said.

The University of La Verne is taking itself to the next step by having full-time faculty teach in programs such as FLEX, which is the Freshman La Verne Experience.

“The La Verne Experience is currently only for freshmen, but soon will be a comprehensive program offered to all students,” Shabahang said.

“We are still one of the better buys in higher education,” Shabahang said.

This school year is unique because the new dorm, Vista La Verne, opened.

The cost of living in Vista is more expensive because of the many amenities offered, including improved security, computerized washers and dryers, and private bathrooms.

The University wants to continue to be competitive, give a good education to students and overall be better.

Shabahang said that it is impossible to do with a lower tuition rate.

“A wonderful program takes money,” Shabahang said.

The university took the statewide cuts to Cal Grants into consideration.

When it came to financial aid, they had to look at students, new and returning, who needed the most help.

They looked closely at individual students’ family income and gave aid to students that needed it more.

Now that the tuition increase has taken place, Shabahang believes the students need to be surveyed in order to see if the increase was worth it.

Even though tuition was increased, the money given back to students also increased.

As for there being another increase in the next school year, this is still uncertain.

It is a long process and the discussion has not started yet.

Xochitl Martinez, director of student accounts, gave advice to those students struggling financially.

“Students need to confirm that they have completed their FAFSA,” Martinez said.

“I would recommend they look for resources outside their original award,” Martinez said.

“For example, look for outside scholarships through community, corporations or their high school.”

Rachelle Sellen, a senior movement and sports science major, shared her thoughts about the tuition increase.

“I didn’t understand why because I thought the university was well endowed with money,” Sellen said.

Sellen said paying more for tuition would be worth it if the costs for extracurricular activities, such as sorority costs, would be included with what she pays in her tuition.

Sellen believes that if the tuition continues to rise, the money should be used towards smaller majors in the university for more and better materials.

Sarah Veissalov can be reached at sarah.veissalov@laverne.edu.

Kelley Maggiulli

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