Some Barnard students are reacting with frustration and confusion to an email sent out by Dean Hinkson this morning. The message briefly outlines Barnard’s new tuition policy, which mandates that all students pay full-time fees, beginning fall next year.
Traditionally, BC students taking less than 12 credits were able to pay tuition on a per-credit basis, in much the same way that GS students do. A-Hinks stresses that “it has been a practice, though not a policy, for students who opted to take less than 12 credits in their final semester to pay part-time fees for that semester,” but there were also students who have part or full-time jobs and internships that would be disadvantaged by the new system, as would those who have full-time professional careers, such as dancers (Barnard is renowned for its dance program and its enrollment of highly successful professional dancers).
Dean Hinkson argues that the current practice does not make optimal use of Barnard’s resources. “We are making this change in order to be financially responsible and, most importantly, to continue to be able to provide you with the best possible education.”
Juniors who were intending on only paying part-time fees their senior year may now need to adjust their plan of study to take on more courses to avoid the fee hikes next year, a difficult adjustment to make so late in the semester. An online petition, aiming for 5000 signatures opposing the changes, has already been set up. Those critical of the new policy argue that other forms of fundraising that do not burden students should be considered.
In keeping with Barnard’s commitment to the highest academic standards, effective fall 2012, students will be required to pay full-time fees for 8 semesters if they were admitted as a first-year, 6 semesters if admitted as a sophomore, and 4 semesters if admitted as a junior. Of course, you can still opt to graduate in fewer semesters as long as all requirements have been fulfilled. We understand that it has been a practice, though not a policy, for students who opted to take less than 12 credits in their final semester to pay part-time fees for that semester. As of next fall, this will no longer be permitted. We recognize that this new policy will require some of you to alter your program plans, and your academic advisers and
Class Deans are available to assist you.
Barnard has always been a four-year college with a strong commitment to community and, as such, we believe that it is in the academic interest of all of our students to spread required credits over the total number of enrolled semesters. Our staffing and financial plans are developed based on full-time enrollment projections. A practice of students opting to become part-time students means that our resources are not being used at the optimal level. We are making this change in order to be financially responsible and, most importantly, to continue to be able to provide you with the best possible education.
Tastier policy via Wikimedia