Who is really funding the University purse?

Zane Gamin
former student

Cleveland, Ohio

Murray State has set an ambitious goal before itself for the year 2012.  Can the University achieve 12,000 students by then?
The answer is debatable, though not as prudent as the question why or why not it can be done.  What needs to be focused on is the impression that current students have of their education, campus life and the city of Murray itself.
Those three things are invaluable contributors to the decision whether or not to attend this university. Students currently at the University have the most recruiting power.
Without them, the University wouldn’t exist and therefore one would think that their priorities be met first. Going to college is a big step, and one that can’t be made hastily.
Delving even deeper, and into the out-of-state realm, we find issues regarding that commitment.  For out-of-state students, the tables are already weighed out of Murray’s favor. Most of you will understand that it takes time to appreciate Murray. It doesn’t have the allure of a big city, nor does it offer quite as many day or night life options.
Many have grown to love it here, but a similar experience can be had closer to home for most out of state students. Getting into campus life is easy, although if you’re looking to have any kind of social event, no matter how dangerous, safe, small or large it may be, expect the Murray Police to ruin your fun. There are excellent officers in Murray, some of the best I’ve met, though it seems that the department as a whole hasn’t realized how to treat a college town.
Lastly, we discuss the quality of the education system at Murray.  Although not as prestigious as say, Harvard or Yale, Murray seems to have a head on its shoulders in regards to professors and most staff. Classes are generally small, professors have ample office hours and the resources you may need to progress through your education are readily available.
With all of these contributors, Murray is a decent place to spend your college career. The value you place on your educational experience may vary with others, but let me present a certain situation. There are two states currently in a dual-tuition predicament. Those states are Alabama and Ohio. In previous years, as admitted to regional, other states faced the same problem.
Without wanting to sacrifice the extra funds, Murray picked a year, and if you were accepted after that year you would pay regional tuition.
While it is an excellent recruiting tool, where is the love for students already admitted? The Board of Regents and other policy makers are most certainly focused on recruitment as opposed to retention of students.
This may not be quite as mind blowing to those who pay in-state tuition, but the change, at least for Ohio, takes tuition down to slightly more than $4,000 from the previous figure of slightly below $9,000.
There could be two students from the same town, who happened to enroll one semester apart, yet one will be expected to pay around $70,000 for the same education and experience that the other is getting for around $34,000.
Something tells me the student paying $36,000 more isn’t going to value his or her education any more than the other.
In fact, I’m sure that they would rather not pay for two degrees and only receive the instruction and time on campus for one. Maybe that’s just me.
While this doesn’t affect any type of majority on campus, it still reflects a larger issue.
If Murray is willing to arbitrarily take advantage of one group, what other ways are we taken advantage of? Ohio students admitted before fall semester 2010, and Alabama students admitted before Fall 2011 are essentially giving thousands of dollars to the University without any individual gain. How does it feel to unintentionally make Murray State University your personal charity?
Everyone that has been asked, from the Bursar’s Office to the President’s Office has come up with the same conclusion.
This is how things are. The precedent has been set, and there isn’t any hope in changing it. It seems that those employees who can make a change are the only ones who don’t think it is a good idea.
So, in closing, I propose that a process be adopted in which current students and prospective students share the same pricing scale, in any and all University programs.
That counts for incoming freshmen and seniors that may have been around a little more than expected. Students made the University what it is and continues to be.
No one should come out of college, the years so often dubbed as the best of your life, feeling as if they were slighted.