Tuition increase necessary for big picture

The 5.5 percent increase in tuition this school year is a direct effect of the state’s budget repair bill passed by the state legislature in March.

As college students, money is always tight and the $322 dollar increase will be felt by many.

However, when assessing this issue it’s important to look at the big picture.

Our state has seen better days economically. When Gov. Walker took office in January, he inherited budget deficits totaling $3.6 billion.

Regardless of our feelings towards the budget repair bill, one truth we can all agree on is that Wisconsin needs to get its financial house back in order.

The last two years have been brutal for Wisconsin’s economy.

In 2010, Wisconsin was named the 41st business-friendly state in the country according to a survey on chiefexecutive.com taken by over 500 CEO’s who considered taxation, regulation to workforce quality, living environment and more. In 2009, Wisconsin placed 43rd.

Whether it’s walking past enormous Hyland Hall or getting something from a local business in town, the private sector’s presence is known by students at UW-Whitewater.

While we do our part to help Wisconsin’s budget become balanced by paying for increased tuition, we must remind ourselves that many of us will reap the benefits after we have our degrees in hand.

For many of us the next step after graduation will be looking to join the workforce and getting our young careers started.

With the promise of a more balanced budget in the future, chiefexecutive.com’s 2011 rankings saw Wisconsin jump 17 spots to 24th.

As more businesses and jobs are created in Wisconsin, the difficulty of finding a job after college will hopefully lessen with the addition of employers.

Along with job availability after college, the tuition hike will allow for new changes on campus as well.

The $17 million in renovations to Carlson Hall will help utilize space on the university as well as create jobs and increase the value of the education received at UW-Whitewater.

While the positives of raising tuition are clear, there are always negatives.

To many of us, it’s difficult enough to pay for college. We may have scholarships, grants or loans but often times plenty of our schooling is still paid for out of our own pockets.

To those who have trouble paying for school as it is, an additional 5.5 percent increase in tuition is more than cumbersome. It may mean working extra hours during the school year, thus adding stress to a schedule that is already busy.

For students who pay out of state tuition, the increase will be met with disdain as well.

Overall, paying more in tuition ensures the university will continue to provide us with the level of education we have expected. Not everybody likes the budget-repair bill.

However, the raise in tuition for students at UW-Whitewater is one that makes sense and comes with the territory of going to a state school.

Eventually we will see the benefits of having a stable economy in Wisconsin.

While paying even more for college will be difficult, we as young people and Wisconsinites will be far better off in the long run than we would if our state were to remain in financial shambles.

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