The claim in the August 25 Northerner article “Rising tuition not keeping students away from NKU” unfortunately cannot be substantiated. First of all, only a careful study, which to my knowledge has not been conducted, could link tuition with enrollment levels. We simply have no way of knowing how rising tuition has affected individual students’ ability to afford and attend NKU.
Second, the article is based on dated, inaccurate data. Prior to the beginning of classes, enrollment indeed looked like it would increase, despite the higher tuition. However, that projection was incorrect. As of August 25, undergraduate enrollment was in fact slightly lower than last year’s. (Only seniors enrolled in greater numbers, probably because they wish to graduate as soon as possible to escape the burden of next year’s likely exorbitant tuition increase.)
During the summer, the Kentucky Post also reported that 2004 enrollment, despite the increase in tuition, was projected to increase. There is now a false notion in the Northern Kentucky community that probably will be believed by most, despite its falseness. That should make it easier for the Board of Regents to approve next year’s exorbitant tuition increase.
I use the word “exorbitant” with care. Since the tuition increase at many colleges and universities (including NKU) now surpasses the inflationary rate of health insurance, I think the term “exorbitant” an appropriate one. It’s all about institutional reputation, purchased with students’ dollars.
Paul Ellis Director, Learning Assistance Program