‘Freezing’ tuition costs would enhance academic access

Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance in partnership with the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union and other universities have been working on a fully-funded tuition freeze for students — essentially giving the money we owe to universities a time out.

This is a step in the right direction for all students struggling to independently survive against the pull of surrounding financial vacuums.

Currently, there is a preconceived notion that students can pay for their education by working hard during the “summer” — a four-month time-frame some argue would allow students to just make enough to pay for tuition.

But extraneous costs outside of tuition include textbooks, rent, transit and food — not to mention numerous other money-sucking necessities to be a basic human.

Because prices for those essentials are continuously bouncing, a set tuition cost would allow students to gain a better understanding of what financials need to be considered on a wider scale.

It would allow students to be less in the dark about what needs to be paid and eliminate the stress of continuously hanging by a thread.

In the early 90s, the Ontario government relinquished control over regulated tuition, which meant universities were free to raise them according to outlooks on the competitive market.

This resulted in fluctuating tuition costs rising higher than inflation and oftentimes making up for budgets of universities.

Deregulated tuition gave schools the freedom to charge outrageous prices, with the justification of it “all being worth it.”

But is it really?

We’ve received a letter to the editor from Laura Bassett, vice-president of university affairs and we’ve experienced these misconceptions and disappointments ourselves.

We struggle as students to find our ground when all we need is a little help to pay for our education — something we need to succeed with a brighter future.

Students have trouble focusing on academics and what will aid their education when worrying about their constantly growing debt or the tuition payment looming over their heads.

Anxieties like these are problematic to the student body in a multitude of ways, and it’s important that this advocacy for a tuition freeze is not disregarded.

It must also be said that it is commendable of the Students’ Union to advocate with OUSA and other university students’ unions for this important cause.

It’s refreshing to see they are taking a stance on an important provincial issue and understanding what needs to be done.   

By the time a Laurier student is in fourth year, their tuition is approximately 10 per cent more expensive than it was in their first year.

Sure, money is necessary for the university to run, but raising tuition and making students suffer isn’t the way to higher education. Profit should not be the only objective.

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