by Sana Bashir (UG ’24)
Before the Monsoon Semester commenced in 2021, many parents collectively emailed the administration, faculty, and founders to stop the continuous increase in fees. They wrote, “This latest increase comes on the back of the 6% fee hike already enforced in 2020. With the current increase of ~6%, we are burdened with ~12% increase from when we began.” With classes taking place virtually, students have had little access to facilities and experiences the university vouches for. The parents further stated how COVID-19 gravely affected the socio-economic status of many families, making a fee hike highly unreasonable. Finally, in September 2021, the administration reached out, clarifying that while they had originally revised the fee structure to 4,12,500, for the Monsoon semester (2021), keeping the current situation in mind they were reverting to the 3,92,500 for the existing students.
However, there has been a 5% increase in the tuition fees for the Spring semester (2022). On the 4th of January‘22, the House of Representatives (HOR) had a meeting with the Pro-Vice Chancellor to discuss the same. The Pro-VC justified the increment by saying their costs have increased keeping in mind COVID regulations, inflation rates, hiring of new faculty, and so on. He also argued that the online mode doesn’t reduce the cost of faculty and staff and there was lesser revenue flowing in. The Pro-VC further mentioned that despite the hike, the amount that is to be paid is still less considering the absence of hostel fees. While he understands the lack of exposure in a virtual setting, university costs are still increasing and they require more revenue. When questioned on the sudden closing of campus with little notice to the students who had booked tickets and spent money on campus planning, he merely replied that the administration too faced difficulties in adjusting since they had been preparing to properly open up. Thus, since the Pro-Vice-Chancellor said that since the fee increment was already put off last semester, it cannot be done so again, the HOR will be emailing a petition for the same. They have released a form to the student body to assess what all concerns need to be included and will be opening the petition for signatures on the 12th of January.
As of now, since the university seems adamant in their fee increment, the financial aid department is trying to reinstate allowing people to pay in installments and is also open to accommodating financial aid of students in extreme circumstances.