Elmhurst University students received an ugly surprise on Aug. 24, when the Department of Public Safety sent out an email stating that parking permit fees were $25 higher than the previous year, despite following an email on Aug. 15 listing the same prices as last year.
This felt like a huge slap in the face — not only did EU increase our fees, but they failed to tell us this updated information in their Aug. 15 email. After receiving a 3.5 percent increase in tuition this year, this felt especially invalidating.
EU should do more to not only financially assist its students, but also to communicate more transparently with them about what their fees will look like and why.
One initiative EU could improve upon is cutting their costs. To do this, EU could expand online offerings, offer up-to-date online resources rather than expensive (and frankly, often outdated) textbooks, and outsource some of its services.
Also, EU needs to fully explain its financial choices to students by telling them where their tuition and fees are going and why. If EU is afraid to be transparent, it probably means that it’s doing something that’s not 100 percent in the best interest of its students.
By maintaining an open line of communication with students, EU can put itself on a path to make better decisions for students, take full responsibility for its choices, and respond empathetically when students are concerned about the costs of paying for school.
Lastly, EU should prioritize putting our tuition dollars into projects that will truly support students’ needs.
We want to make it clear that we know EU is already doing an excellent job of funding student resources: The Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Grant, an upcoming health sciences building, and UWill teletherapy offered to students for free are just a few of many examples of how EU has helped us.
We don’t want to detract from the importance of these efforts. However, if EU is more selective about which programs to prioritize — and postpones spending money on events and festivities — it shouldn’t have to increase our tuition to support us.
Focus more heavily on funding our academic programs, making our buildings more ADA-compliant, and keeping our campus safe, healthy, and clean.
We can live without the drone show at Homecoming — we’re paying for a college education, not entertainment.