WTAMU tuition and fees could see an increase

      WTAMU President presented the proposed tuition and fee increases.

      Tuition and fees for West Texas A&M University could be increasing for the 2015 fiscal year.

      J. Patrick O'Brien, WTAMU president, said current tuition and mandates cost an about $3484 a semester for a full time student. This number will increase to $3650 for freshmen with the proposed increases.

      The proposed increases would be in the areas of transportation, accreditation, advising, and also include a four year tuition guarantee.

      "We are going to come in with a four year guarantee tuition for incoming freshmen for next year. and we'll have a 3 year guarantee for sophomores, a two year guarantee for juniors, then for seniors," O'Brien said.

      Currently, students pay $14 a semester for a transportation fee, $1 for traffic safety, and $40 for a parking permit. This will be consolidated into one $40 transportation payment.

      The advising fee will increase to $50 from the current $35.

      O'Brien said the increase in advising fee is to accommodate the growing student population. He said WT had a consistent 2 percent increase in population, but it increased 5.9 percent last year. This increase would pay for an additional three full-time advisors. O'Brien also said increase in advising could help keep with the retention rate of first generation students.

      Forty-eight percent of the students at WT are first generation. Of those, about 35 percent leave within their first year.

      Though the proposed increases aren't significant, it can still be a burden to students

      Daniel Westemyer is an engineering student at WTMAU and attended the meeting hearing on Tuesday.

      "I have to pay for my own tuition and I also have all of my other bills that I have to pay for and balance between with and all that kind of stuff. So it's kind of important for me to know how my tuition is going to change over the next two to two and a half years," Westemyer said.

      He said the proposed changes do not seem unreasonable.

      "At least as a student, I can understand the importance and significance of why they're increasing the fees. Although it's still going to be an addition financial burden on my part, I have to make the money for it," Westemyer said.