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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Slacker’ fee needs more time

    Attention slackers: The state will not be financing your meandering journey of self-exploration (or whatever you’d like to call it) anymore. Under a new Arizona state law, students who rack up more than an academic year’s worth of excess credits will pay a “”tuition surcharge”” when they register for additional units. The surcharge amount will be decided at the Arizona Board of Regents tuition hearing in November.

    The law, which establishes a 155-credit-hour ceiling for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree during the 2006-2007 school year, creates a financial incentive for those who, for one reason or another, cannot get it together enough to graduate. The legislation makes exceptions for students with multiple majors, those in fields of study requiring additional credits (e.g. engineering, education and nursing) and those with transfer credits from other institutions.

    The allotted ceiling is more than enough for students pursuing one major to explore other areas of interest. But what about the student who decides to change his or her major late in the game? To ensure that the law does not penalize students who are involved in a serious academic investigation, a waiver policy should be created. Such a policy would allow students who believe their excess credits to be the result of legitimate academic pursuits to apply for a waiver to the proposed excess-credit fee. This way, the legislation will not affect students outside of the “”slacker”” group for whom the law was implemented.

    The law would be further improved if fees collected were earmarked for new advisers or professors at Arizona’s universities. Better advising and a wider breadth of class availability will naturally shrink the group of students who would have to pay the fee in the first place.

    The law is a good start; it’s only fair to charge extra for those who are using a disproportionate amount of resources. But it’s not complete. Creating a waiver process and earmarking funds from the fee would ensure that the university does not steer away from its original mission – to educate the students of this state and provide an academic breeding ground for research and learning.

    OPINIONS BOARD

    Opinions are determined by the Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members. They are Nina Conrad, Lori Foley, Ryan Johnson, Ari Lerner, Nicole Santa Cruz and Matt Stone.

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