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Undergrad, grad students react to tuition hike

Katie Laird | Wednesday, March 17, 2004

In addition to the 6.9 percent increase in undergraduate tuition, the Notre Dame Board of Trustees decided to raise graduate school tuition 7 percent for next school year, making costs total $28,970 for Graduate School and $29,740 for Law School and Masters in Business Administration.Parents and graduate students received the news in a letter last week from University President Fr. Edward Malloy. Both graduate and undergraduate students hold strong opinions on the increase. Topher Goggin is a second-year law student who understands the escalation in tuition, but said it could affect some people tremendously.”A lot of students get frustrated because it’s a big chunk of money … but at the same time, you have to look at endowments and how they are work,” he said. “It’s just something we have to deal with.” Goggin explained that a large proportion of graduate students pay for graduate school themselves. “It adds to the debt load when they get out,” he said. In addition to many younger students in Notre Dame’s graduate programs, adults who are enrolled in law school will have to face “hefty financial shock” causing a large “pinch in pocketbooks,” Goggin said. Goggin further suggested that students get an idea of pending cost increases based on past percentages. The University doesn’t want to be in a position to be unaffordable, he said. “Trustees have goals they are trying to meet. I’d be more concerned if they were dipping into financial aid,” Goggin said.Jen Mulreany, a sophomore English major, thinks that the tuition increases are unfair and unneeded. “I find it hard to believe that with so many people lined up to donate buildings and with the little financial aid available, that they need more money … I think they have enough,” she said. Garrett Hohimer is a first-year law student who also faces the tuition increase: “A lot of us are on grants or fellowships … most people are financing through loans,” Hohimer explained. “I won’t really see [effects] immediately and I suppose that’s fortunate,” he said. Hohimer is optimistic that a law school degree from Notre Dame will provide him a good paying job to help pay off the debt that he will face upon graduation.Hohimer hopes that the increase in tuition will go toward improving resources, whether for the law school or for the University at large, such as more computer labs, more wireless connections and a possible expansion of the law library or other University resource centers. In the letter, Malloy wrote that with the past economic instability, the University has had to “cut costs while diligently protecting the priorities of our academic mission and the quality of student life.”