Tuition cuts for yankees
By Brendan Howe
In a time of rising tuition at universities across the province, the University of Windsor is cutting tuition levels for American students in half next year.
Coined as their "NAFTA" tuition program, manager of news services at the University of Windsor, John Carrington, said the university is trying to increase revenues and enrollment by becoming competitive with tuition levels on the other side of the border.
Currently students from the United States must pay approximately $10,000 Cdn to attend the University of Windsor, but in September that number will drop to about $5,000.
"If we want to continue to provide quality education we have to find a way to increase revenues," Carrington said. He added the university currently operates under a deficit and has seen their enrollment decrease by 2,000 students over the past three years. The university has just over 10,000 students this year.
Pat Borninski, an information officer at Wayne State University in Detroit, said this decrease would bring Windsor's tuition levels in line with theirs at, on average, $3,500 US per student. She said she was not concerned that Windsor's new tuition levels would affect enrollment at Wayne State.
David Young, president of the University of Windsor Students' Alliance, said he thinks the decrease is a good idea because the university is currently facing an enrollment challenge.
"We are a university on an international border, it seems logical we should be looking to recruit students from the States," he said. He added he didn't think Canadian students would be alarmed next year when their tuition will increase by up to 10 per cent and the amount paid by others is cut in half because currently the university has only 10 American students.
That number is not supposed to increase substantially in September because by now most students have made up their minds about which university they will go to, Carrington said. They are aiming to attract an additional two dozen students next year and increase that number in subsequent years.
He explained Windsor has to take a different approach to recruitment. "We don't have the budget some schools do, like Western, to put billboard signs in subways."
Western's VP-academic Greg Moran said that the university has no intention of cutting tuition fees for American students. "We don't think it's unreasonable that students from another country who don't contribute to the [Canadian] tax base pay a premium price to come here."
Western had 30 U.S. students attending the university last year with an international student in social science paying a little over $9,000 a year in tuition fees.