Cost of attending UNR could rise in 2015

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Cost of attending UNR could rise in 2015

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Students across the Nevada System of Higher Education may soon see the cost of attending college and graduate school rise.

Students across the Nevada System of Higher Education may soon see the cost of attending college and graduate school rise.

On Tuesday, students at the University of Nevada, Reno heard from higher education officials about the changes.

For undergraduates, it would be a 4 percent increase per credit starting in 2015. That's about 8 dollars more a credit. A 4 percent increase would then be applied for each year till the Class of 2019.

UNR President Marc Johnson says the cost of a degree is still quite affordable compared to other universities where tuition has gone up substantially.

"This is not one of those situations where we are running with the nation in terms of running up fees and generating significant debt. We are proposing to raise our fees modestly on a relatively low base."

Among other western public universities, Nevada sits below the median cost for an undergraduate or graduate degree. The additional money from the increases will make up for inflation and be used to improve the university's faculty to student ratio.

Most students said they understood the reasons behind the increase. Still, Andrew Diss, who's an MBA student, says the Board of Regents needs to pressure the legislature for more support now that the state has pulled through the worst of the Recession.

"It's not really modest when you look at it. It all adds up in the end. I'd just like to see the regents say it's time for the legislature to step up."

Under the changes, graduate students would see no raises for 2015 and 2016, but then they'd pay 2 percent more per credit for the next two years.

Chancellor Dan Klaich says they're trying to bring some predictability to tuition by planning these increases 4 years ahead.

"One of the problems we've had in the past is that tuition and fees don't go up for a period of time and then they jump a lot."

Klaich says his priority will be making the case for more funding to the 2015 Legislature, whether that includes changing the state's tax structure or other policy changes.

The Board of Regents will make its final decision on the tuition increases in June.