South Alabama President Predicts Tuition Increase

South Alabama President Predicts Tuition Increase

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Tony Waldrop broke the world indoor record in 1974 when he ran a sub-four minute mile.  His athletic ability earned him national attention and landed him on the cover of "Track and Field News", twice.   40 years later, what strides will Dr. Waldrop make as president of The University of South Alabama?

In a recent one on one interview, Waldrop told News 5 he's asked for the information telling him the average debt of a South Alabama Graduate.  When asked about the cost of a higher education he responded, "I absolutely wish that it could be lower, no question about that".

Nationally, the rising cost of higher education has reached a crisis level.  Many college students graduate deep in debt.  In Alabama, the average graduate owes more than 26-thousand dollars in student loans.  "I think what we have to do is look at other ways of reducing the costs, and there are many.  Philanthropy of course is one way.  We need to look at ways of reducing the costs of administration of the University", said Dr. Waldrop.  However when it comes to looking for ways to decrease tuition, he said.  "It will be very difficult to lower tuition.  I'm always very honest and open.  One of the things that I feel very strongly is you do not want to decrease the quality of education that students get.  That if you're providing a less than desirable that's not gonna prepare them to enter into the job market and be well trained, You're also doing a disservice".

The University of South Alabama has steadily increased tuition every year since 2008 bringing the yearly cost to $8,310.00, still lower than the state's other top universities, Alabama and Auburn.
South has also experienced record enrollment, and Dr. Waldrop says more students require more teachers to keep a quality student to faculty ratio.  So, can students expect future tuition increases under Waldrop's leadership?  "I would hope an ideal  But, if you ask me do I think we will have to increase tuition..the answer is yes", said Waldrop.

Friday, The Board of Trustees meets.  On the agenda is approval of 2014-2015 tuition and fees.

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