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Tuition Increases and Financial Aid

Question Description
Imagine that you work for a large, urban community college in the state of California. In the face of state budget cuts, many state colleges and universities in California have recently increased tuition to stay afloat. The budget cuts have also caused many of the same community colleges to increase tuition.

Costs for employee benefits, technology upgrades, and facilities maintenance have all increased dramatically over the last few years. Additionally, students coming into your institution need more academic remediation in basic skills (courses that are sometimes offered tuition-free). What’s more, your local community has asked you to start a new nursing program, which is very expensive. To meet these financial needs, the college has made the choice to increase tuition and fees. Tuition at your institution has been historically very low but has gone up steadily over the past decade.

The college president has asked you to serve on a committee to make recommendations about increasing tuition and to propose a methodology to distribute a new internal financial aid program for students. The president will use the committee recommendations as the basis to consider using some of the new tuition revenue to start an internal, institutional financial aid program in which grants will be given to students who qualify.

As a committee, respond to the following while outlining your recommendations and addressing any suggested methods of aid distribution you personally prefer and why. The five major areas the committee has been asked to explore are as follows:

Describe how the increase in tuition will likely affect stakeholder groups such as students, faculty and administrators.
Propose alternatives to increasing tuition that will help meet your institution’s financial needs.
Analyze several options for distributing the proposed aid such as merit versus need based, 1 semester versus 2 years, and so forth.
Determine the qualifications for students to receive the new aid.
Outline the information needed to help make your decisions.
Go on to read your classmates’ responses. Challenge their responses, particularly their proposed alternatives to increasing tuition and their proposed options for distributing aid. Are there hidden consequences to their alternatives that they are not considering? What criticisms might arise from their aid distribution proposals?

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