Volume 95, Issue 53

Wednesday, December 5, 2001
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Are women safe at Western?

USC begins quest for relevance

War at home and abroad

Tuition increase scares students

Enviro-hippies attack bio-food at Loblaws

Prof: war tribunals problematic

Tuition increase scares students

By Joel Brown
Gazette Staff

Professional school students are worried about the ramifications of an expecting tuition increase after administration announced pending budgetary complications last month.

In anticipation of next year's budget, to be presented this spring, Western's VP-academic Greg Moran said students in programs such as business, law and medicine should expect their tuition rates to go up next year.

Moran blamed the potential increase on a shrinking budget and a provincial government mandated two per cent tuition freeze for regulated undergraduate programs.

Honours Business Administration Student Council president Jason Thacker said he is afraid the increasing tuition at the Richard Ivey School of Business may be turning potential students away despite the school's reputation of graduating students into high-paying jobs.

"There's a misconception that since many of us come out with higher paying jobs we should be able to handle higher debt loads," Thacker said. "But it must be remembered we still have to compete with other schools to get jobs when we enter the work force."

Thacker said this year's first-year HBA students have been finding it especially tough to cover the $14,000 tuition cost since that amount had not been anticipated.

Incoming students were under the impression tuition would rise from $9,000 to $10,000, but budget concerns last year led to a higher increase, he said.

Business students who are unable to find jobs are under even greater pressure given their higher debt loads, Thacker said.

"There's a lot of pressure on us as a result," he said.

Thacker said while the opportunity for business students to receive financial aid is not substantially higher than other programs, the school has done a good job forming relationships with banks to get their students extended lines of credit.

Student Legal Society president Raivo Uukkivi found it hard to accept Moran's argument that students in deregulated programs will have to bear the brunt of the government's tuition freeze policy.

There is a higher proportion of undergraduate students in regulated programs, he said. "I doubt even a 10 per cent increase in law's tuition would make up for what's being lost there," he said.

Uukkivi said he hopes a meeting with dean of law Ian Holloway on Friday will shed some light on how high tuition – which is currently $8,300 – will be next year.

Medicine and dentistry dean Carol Herbert said she will not recommend a tuition increase to Western's Board of Governors when it comes time to set the budget.

"Tuition, as it stands, for medicine and dentistry is substantial," she said. "Students are making real contributions to their educational costs."

–with files from Jessica Leeder

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Copyright The Gazette 2001