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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Editorial: Zimpher Suggests Raising Tuition

In State University of New York Chancellor Zimpher’s State of the University address this past month she introduced a plan to make SUNY more competitive, calling for state aid to schools based on research production, student retention and how well schools prepare students to enter the work force.

In addition to a call for state aid- which is looking less likely, given the current economic climate and additional state budget cuts on the horizon- Zimpher called for a rational tuition increase starting in 2012

This plan would be similar to the Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act, PHEEIA, but would not give individual campus’ the right to set tuition. It would periodically raise tuition from the current $4,970 that each student if expected to pay per semester. Though the exact amount it would be raised to is unkown and what is rational to one person may not be rational to another the plan seems sound.

This can be a devastating blow for many college hopefuls but if SUNY plans to compete with the rest of the country, and if Stony Brook’s long dream of becoming the Berkley of the east coast is to ever happen, a tuition increase seems to be the only option.

With the state looking at a $10 billion deficit and additional cuts to SUNY expected, things look bleak. There is little more Stony Brook can afford to cut. Students complain about the infrastructure and how horrible some of the dorms are. Students complain about having to go to class so early because it was all that was left to take. Students complain about large class sizes.

If there is no help, either from the state or from a tuition increase then students will have a lot more to complain about. They will complain about how their major was eliminated. They will complain about how they can’t graduate in 4 years. They will complain about not getting an education.

The reality is that you can’t have it both ways. You can’t have one of the lowest tuitions in the country and still expect to get a good education. Not now, not anymore. The state should not be cutting from SUNY, but the reality is the cuts are not over. And if SUNY, and Stony Brook, has any chance of survival something needs to be done.

It is sad that the economic situation of SUNY has come down to this. Some students may get left  behind and not be able to attend college at all. The signs of this crisis  are all around us and because of this it seems that there are not many options left for the SUNY system. The people who run the sate budget should realize the tight situation they are putting their public universities into and should make every effort to minimize cuts to them.

Education is the future, and it is odd that it is often the first thing cut when money is tight, however, it seems as if we are past a tipping point where balancing and managing the budget could have kept our tuitions at the same level. At this point, all students can do is watch, wait and hope that the mistakes that their parent’s generation made do not cost them their chance to a college education

As Zimpher said in her address, “it could be said—as SUNY goes, so goes New York.”

-The Editorial Board

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