Marquette Wire

Students create petition to freeze current tuition in response to recent increase

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A petition to freeze tuition for students currently enrolled at Marquette has more than 2,700 signatures as of Monday, after the Board of Trustees approved raising the tuition from $41,290 this academic school year to $43,350 in 2019-20.

The petition reads, “Student debt is a consequential issue to those who are interested in obtaining a higher education. When choosing a college, students must calculate what kind of debt they will be looking at for their future to determine if it will be an affordable choice for them.”

It also states that if Marquette continues to increase tuition those calculations made by many students previously will no longer be valid and suggests freezing the tuition costs for current students.

Olivia Cimino, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, made the petition after the tuition increase announcement last Monday. 

“Even if we are the first private institution to freeze tuition for a significant amount of time, I think we can still find a way for it to be beneficial for everyone,” Cimino said.

Cimino said some universities, including University of Illinois, have frozen their tuition for enrolled students. The University of Wisconsin system has also frozen their tuition, according to a Journal Sentinel article.

Rhea Garbis, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences who signed the petition, said she thought the tuition raise was unfair.

“I didn’t sign up to pay $2,000 extra … I think, for the most part, my college decision came down to money,” Garbis said. 

University spokesperson Chris Stolarski said the university respects its students’ right to petition and Marquette leaders understand and appreciate students’ perspectives on this issue.

“We know a Marquette education is a significant financial investment for students and their families, and our faculty, staff and university leaders work together each day to ensure that students receive a transformative return on that investment,” Stolarski said in an email. 

Stolarski added that at the same time, Marquette is not immune to the very real economic realities facing modern higher education in the United States. Students and families demand of Marquette a world-class, Jesuit education at Marquette, he said. 

University President Michael Lovell responded to the petition in a statement. The petition is addressed to Lovell, the Board of Trustees, senior vice president and chief operating officer Joel Pogodzinski and Acting Provost Kimo Ah Yun. 

“Nothing is more important to me than ensuring that our students receive the transformative Catholic, Jesuit education that they have entrusted us to deliver — it is an incredible responsibility and one we take very seriously,” Lovell said.

Lovell said many students and families make financial sacrifices to be at Marquette. He said fundraising is being done specifically for scholarship aid.

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About the Writer
Annie Mattea, News Reporter

Annie Mattea is a News Reporter for the Marquette Wire for the following school year. She is from Grayslake, Illinois and is majoring in journalism.

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