By C. Winnie Saywah Jimmy
The Executive Council of the Cuttington University has resolved to revise tuition payment plan beginning the second semester of its academic 2015/16 calendar for all students with a 25 percent increment in all non-tuition related fees. The increment plan, according to the University Council, will ensure regularity in all the University’s programs and this requires beneficiaries of overseas sponsorships, every donor and or scholarship student to deposit 25 percent of his/her total semester bill in cash during registration. The University’s administration in consultation with the Board of Trustees apportioned the decision noting that the continuous downward trend in the subsidy provided by the Liberian government to support the University as a major constrain.
Another reason for the decision is that there is an undue delay in the payment of tuition by self-sponsored students and scholarship donors resulting into the accumulation of huge receivables at the end of every semester that has negative impact on the University’s operations. Meanwhile, as tuition revenue is said to be vital to the operations of the University, several other measures have been announced in the payment of tuition and they include the requirement of scholarship donor to deposit a minimum of 50 percent of the total semester bill on behalf of each student at registration and the full balance be paid at mid-term.
The University also acknowledged that because bank charges are levied on its account for checks returned due to lack of sufficient funds, it is compelled to add US$ 100 to the total bill off a sponsor or donor whose check is returned to unpaid by the bank. In addition to that, the University has warned that sponsor or donor will be required to make subsequent payments of tuition and fees by certified manager checks. This decision affects the graduate and undergraduate school as well as the junior college. The CU’s increase non-tuition related fees comes just a week when the University of Liberia (UL) Board of Trustees made similar pronouncement but in the cost per credit hours for only students enrolled in its undergraduate, graduate and professional schools.
Next semester, UL’s cost per credit hour for graduate school will be increased from US$ 2.05 to US$ 4.00 while for the graduate and professional schools, increment is from US$ 55.00 to US$ 75.00 and that is still a ‘wait and see’ for protesting students who claim that the amount is too unreasonable and high for a public institution. Even though the UL is expected to be a budget priority for government, the state-run institution still has huge challenges in generating revenues for its operations and maintaining its campuses as well as upkeep of its staff. The revenues projected according to the UL is said to be targeting the improvements of five critical areas of the university which include reduction of annual budget deficits, improving libraries, maintaining the ICT infrastructures which include the internet as well as deferred maintenance of critical infrastructures such as buildings and faculty, staff and student development.