University tuition, interterm policies change

Grace Zischkau, Contributing Writer

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The university policy regarding tuiton has been altered to allow students to take interterm classes as a part of the 19 hours, which are included in the fall tuition fee. Photo by Anthony Garnier.

University of Dallas tuition has increased for this academic year, alongside new changes in interterm course policies.

According to the UD website, for full-time undergraduate students, the fall semester costs a flat rate of $33,360, “based on 12-19 hours of enrollment for fall and spring semesters.”

Tuition for the 2014-15 academic year was $32,080.

The administration stated that the increase in tuition is not a result of including interterm classes in full-time undergraduate student tuition.

“Tuition increases a certain percentage every year, traditionally,” Senior Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services Dr. John Plotts said.

The new interterm policy for this academic year was another unexpected change.

Plotts said the 12-19 credit hour flat rate should encourage students to attend interterm and take more manageable courseloads in the fall.

The inclusion of interterm in the fall semester has accrued mixed feelings across campus.

“I really think it is a good idea because, especially with all the Core curriculum requirements … it really helps to have that included in tuition already,” freshman Jacquelyn Lee said.

“I don’t like the change because it hurts students who are already taking a full load of courses and it hurts students who … choose not to take advantage of the new interterm policy,” junior Mark Houle, who is double majoring in economics and finance and English, said.

Junior Darsey Ramirez agreed that the policy could hurt students who have to take heavy course loads.

“It is screwing over the people who have to take 18 and 19 credit hours during the fall semester on top of additional classes during interterm,” Ramirez said.

Plotts said the decision to include interterm in the fall semester was because of a compliance issue with the Department of Education.

“In order to be in compliance with federal regulations about funding, we couldn’t hold interterm as a separate temporal entity,” Associate Provost Dr. John Norris said. “We weren’t supposed to be charging tuition for that as a particular separate term.”

Plotts said other benefits are greater flexibility for student schedules and the application of financial aid to interterm courses within the 12-19 credit hours flat rate.

Interterm courses cost $440 per credit hour for the 2014-15 academic year.

Students will now be charged more for each credit hour above 19 credit hours.

“[Students are] charged $1,380 per additional credit hour above 19 [credit hours],” Kathy Lawrence, assistant bursar, said.

Lee said she would not exceed the 19-credit cap because the tuition rate would not be financially feasible.

Still, double majors and transfers are having difficulty organizing their semesters in order to graduate on time with their respective classes.

“It costs a lot more for students who are attempting to be proactive and use all the learning opportunities available to them,” Houle said. “Policy should be set up to help those students, not force them to pay more.”

In addition, students believe the hidden paragraph within an email titled: “Completing registration for Fall 2015,” sent on July 28 from then-Registrar Jan Burk did not succeed in properly advertising this change in interterm policy.

Stemming from the change in interterm policy is the concern of the relationship between the university’s administration and student body.

Senior theology and physics double major Daniel Jackson said he considered the interterm changes another example of poor communication between the administration and students.

“As a senior, I have seen multiple programs that have had increasing separation between the administration and the students which will create a divide that could disrupt the harmony and community that is already having difficulty sustaining itself right now at our university,” Jackson said. “Through this new program, they’re separating themselves from us, not telling us what’s going on, kind of making a more opaque administration like the government.”

Regardless of whether the new interterm policy aids underclassmen more than upperclassmen and transfer undergraduates, the administration hopes that it will encourage students to take manageable class loads.

Students may continue with paper registration for interterm throughout the fall.

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