UAF Students Sound Off on Tuition Increase

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Applying for scholarships or finding a part time job is all part of the college experience.
But for some students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a just-approved tuition increase to help balance the budget could halt learning in its tracks.
Julia Laude reports.

Sitting in the Wood Center, studying for class is part of the college experience at UAF but for these students, that might soon disappear.

Wyatt Yurkovich; UAF Student>>"At this point I'm also considering having to get either a second job."

Alex Frania; UAF Student>>"I've kind of experienced an issue where I feel like I've been snubbed out of an education I expected to get."

Wyatt Yurkovich; UAF Student>>"The biggest issue I have with the tuition increase is that it's not actually adding anything for the students."

The University of Alaska Board of Regents recently approved a 5% tuition increase across all UA campuses.
Signing up for more cost effective online classes, is how Alex Frania and Wyatt Yurkovich, are having to attain their degrees.
Yurkovich pays out of pocket for his education and with the increase, it could significantly reduce his ability to continue learning.

Wyatt Yurkovich; UAF Student>>"I already have a full time job so trying to work with a full time degree and a full time job makes it almost impossible at this point."

Frania says he may have to rely on his VA benefits, which he wanted to save for a graduate degree.
He hopes the funds from the tuition increase go to helping teachers and staff.

Alex Frania; UAF Student>>"They kind of spread themselves a little too thin when it comes to the department because they have in class classes and then they also have the online equivalent. The problem is they're understaffed so I hope, if anything, it goes into getting more people within the psychology department."

And while these students view the increase negatively, it could get worse, if enrollment doesn't increase as well.

Jim Johnsen; UA System President>>"If enrollment stayed flat the tuition rate increase alone would generate approximately 5 million dollars of revenue. That scenario would result in an 8.7 million dollar deficit and of course how that deficit is made up would be from reduced request, reduced expenses primarily."

The Board of Regents is set to send its approved Fiscal Year 19 budget the state on November 15th.
This is Julia Laude reporting.