Keep tuition free

Letter to the editor

Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2005

Please ask the University of Alaska regents and the president to continue free tuition for seniors and elders.

University of Alaska Presaident Mark Hamilton proposed ending the program, claiming that the university lost $360,000 because of the senior/elder tuition waiver program, and warning of many baby-boomer seniors.

Doesn't the University of Alaska want to promote lifelong learning? Won't Alaska be better for having more better-educated seniors? Don't seniors help younger classmates by bringing life experiences to the classroom?

But the University of Alaska does not lose money with this program. Here is why.

First, most seniors who now take classes for free probably can't afford to pay if the university charges. Even the University of Alaska spokeswoman said ending the tuition-waiver program won't replace the $360,000.

Second, the University of Alaska catalog says seniors only get free tuition during late registration. A senior who signs up during regular registration must still pay. Seniors only get free the classroom seats that the university has not sold. Those seats would otherwise go empty.

Joe Sonneman


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