The University of Guam (UOG) has been struggling financially so a meeting for a proposed 30% increase in tuition fee was held on October 11.
University President Thomas Krise explained the proposal and the reasons why the university needs to raise the tuition, saying general fund appropriations have declined by more than $3,000,000 over the last three years. But more than that, they haven’t received all of that money that was promised by the government of Guam, and the allotment shortfalls are adding up, Kuam News reported.
Intended to begin in Spring 2020, the tuition will continue to rise by 10% after each passing semester until it reaches the desired 30%. However, the proposal was met with criticism by the students.
In an act of protest, the students, some of whom are Palauans, banded together in different areas of the campus premises on October 15. Their efforts proved to be successful and the University of Guam Board of Regents didn’t go through with the original proposal, instead the tuition will increase by 5% each passing semester until the 30% is reached.
Rosania Olgeriil, a Palauan student taking Criminal Justice studies, said that “with the increase, our Pell Grant (a United States-funded need-based grants to low-income students) will not be enough to cover our tuition. On top of that, our dorm rates are being raised. With the dorm rate increase, our current Palau National Scholarship Board scholarship award will be barely enough. Dorm residents are especially impacted because we rely heavily on Pell grant and scholarship.”
Venaure Kanai, a Psychology major said that “I think that before the change, it was unfair because it didn’t give us time to prepare for the increase. I know I wouldn’t be able to afford it and I wouldn’t be able to take up a job to be able to afford it because I am already working an unpaid internship for my major, but now that we have a much longer time to prepare and the increase rate is lower, I think I might be able to afford it.” (Telbakes Yano)