With the current state of the economy, as well as the University’s low endowment (relative to similar academic institutions), it seems obvious that the University needs to make every effort to spend money efficiently. Thus, it comes as a great relief that the topic of changing health care policies came up in this past faculty meeting on April 3.
Even though not all students choose to be covered by the current health care plan and therefore do not pay for it, the University still absorbs the costs of all students’ health insurance. Under this model, the University is losing at least tens of thousands of dollars per year.
This model is simply unacceptable in an institution such as this one. We, the students, see our tuition increase by thousands of dollars with each passing year. As a result, many of us have to take out student loans and work extra jobs, doing anything necessary to keep paying the massive bills.
Perhaps this is idealistic–or even unrealistic–but maybe it is time for this University, as well as others from across the nation, to remember why we are all here. We come to a school like this one to engage in scholarship, to expand our horizons, to prepare ourselves for the real world. We are here to learn.
Sometimes, behind all the talk of bureaucracy and student loans and endowment we forget what truly matters. We forget that, even though our school is private, the primary concern is to learn, not to make money. With this in mind, the focus of tuition should be to allow for the best possible education of a student, not to stratify higher education along class lines. It should only cover what it needs to cover.
This university, to more fully meet the ideal goals of education, should make every effort to keep its tuition rates as low as possible. Cutting substantial unnecessary spending on student health care is a great way to begin addressing this question, but we still have a long way to go.
At a time when our endowment is relatively low, the University is pouring money into an extensive construction project and the United States’ economy is suffering, we at The Bucknellian challenge our administration to think of new, innovative and efficient ways to spend our money. We challenge the administration to attempt to halt the rising tuition, without sacrificing its own ability to keep the school running properly.
All-in-all, the answer seems simple. Smarter spending on the behalf of the administration will benefit all aspects of the University: its faculty, its students and its integrity.