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Regents Vote to Hike Tuition | News

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Regents Vote to Hike Tuition

LAS VEGAS -- The Board of Regents voted Friday to increase university and college tuition and fees by 8 percent for the next school year.

The decision came after a roller coaster meeting that included a series of votes that even the regents admitted left them confused. At one point, students and faculty were hopeful. Regents voted down a 5 percent hike. Only minutes later, the regents voted to raise tuition and fees by 8 percent.

"It became clear later in the meeting that a fee increase of some sort was going to happen. There seemed to be a will on the board that it happened quickly. Partly, so students could prepare and budget for September, but also, so faculty could perhaps hire [staff]," said University Regent James Dean Leavitt, who voted yes.

Students had hoped for more time to weigh in on the level of tuition and fee increases. Now, they will have to settle for input on how their money will be spent.

"We only have three weeks with these proposals. That was not enough time to say: ‘yes, the president did a good job, or no they did not or maybe we should move this around.' I think there should have been more time to discuss things," Sarah Saenz, a UNLV psychology major, said.

UNLV President Neal Smatresk rejects the criticism that students were caught unaware about raising tuition and fees.

"I get stopped regularly as I walk. They say: ‘hey, are you the dude who wants to raise tuition?' There is a general awareness on our campus. I think we are very transparent," Smatresk said.

Southern Nevada Colleges will see its fees and tuition increase by 8 percent next year. UNLV says it is eliminating a $5 per credit charge next year. That means undergrad students will end up with a 5 percent tuition and fee increase.

"I guess anything was better than 13 percent. Eight percent will be worked out by the students. They will take their lumps, like they always have," Scott Geddes, a Truckee Meadows College student, said.

The regents say it is likely that Friday's hike is the last tuition and fee increase until the 2013 legislative session.

Click here to see a chart of how the tuition and fee increase impacts college and university students per credit.