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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Spring semester sucks

Say goodbye to flip-flops, spring break vacations and baseball as indicative features of the spring semester. Gone are the days of anxiously looking forward to the spring for its warm weather and, if nothing else, the end of another year of classes if you’re one of those struggling students. For now, and the foreseeable future, spring semester will henceforth be known for tuition hikes.  

For me, the spring semester is, being that this is only my second year at the UA, and always has been a dreadful period where I wait with covered eyes as my out-of-state tuition skyrockets beyond the oh-so-sexy low number it was when I first came here. Spring semester is now, and most certainly always will be, the time when I honestly wish I could go back to two years ago. Then, I could have just taken the safe bet and stayed in my old state.  

Spring semester is the time when I wonder if I should have just skipped the challenge of leaving my comfort zone and experiencing something new in a totally unknown environment. I wonder if I should have just forgone the personal and independent growth I’ve discovered here and just gone to the “”University near Mom”” (that’s what we call the public university where I’m from). I trust there are more out-of-state students out there pondering the same, or will be when the new numbers come out. While the Arizona Board of Regents has not yet given its official numbers, you don’t need 20/20 vision to see the writing on the wall; tuition is definitely going to rise.  Factor in the regents’ newfound affinity for out-of-state students and their plan to increase the enrollment numbers for such and it is clear to see where the biggest hike will happen. Now, to be fair, it makes sense that the Board of Regents would try to bring in more out-of-state students and hike up their charge. The out-of-state students and their parents don’t live here, they certainly don’t vote here and they don’t pay more than sales taxes here in the nine months that the students are living here. So, what does it matter if the regents reach deeper in their pockets? What are the out-of-state students really going to do about it? Thus, it all makes sense that the regents would allow the UA to enroll up to 40 percent of its incoming student body from states other than Arizona.

The regents mainly see out-of-state students like me as a walking dollar sign. Although UA President Robert Shelton will talk about how we enrich the campus with diversity, I’m just hard pressed to feel convinced that we’re valued at much more than the greenbacks we bring. The school faculty and its student body may embrace us out-of-state-ers but all the regents make us feel like is outsiders. Call the game the way it is, out-of-state students get to play as long as we’re willing to pay … big-time.

— Storm Byrd is a political science sophomore. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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