HARRISONBURG -- Some James Madison University students will pay extra in tuition costs come fall of 2014.
Students who take business classes will pay $50 extra per credit hour. Currently, in-state students who have 12 credits or more pay nearly $4,600 per semester. When the increase goes into effect, if students take 12 credits in business, they will pay $600 more than a regular tuition rate. The overall cost of the major will increase $3,000.
Freshman Sarah Kimball plans to pursue a business degree. She did not know she would have to eventually pay extra for her business classes.
"It was definitely a shock. I had no idea. One of the reasons why I chose JMU it is because it had one lower tuition rates in Virginia," said Kimball.
Mark Conigliaro who is not majoring in business said he understands why it is being done.
"I mean is not that big of an increase, but if it's going into something good like worthwhile like better teaching, better books, better overall. I think it would be a good thing," said Conigliaro.
JMU sent a statement about its decision to implement differential tuition.
"The use of differential tuition is part of the university’s strategic efforts to continue to be able to provide quality educational programs to all students. Differential tuition seeks to place the significantly greater cost of offering some programs on the students who, because of greater potential for immediate employment with higher than usual starting salaries, benefit from these programs," according to a statement sent by JMU.
A JMU freshman who is not planning on majoring in business who learned about the change on Wednesday, understands why is this being done.
"The business scholars would go into a lot of high end businesses and they would make a lot more money than a lot of other majors and they would be able to pay it back a lot easier," said Conigliaro.
According to JMU spokesman Bill Wyatt, differential tuition will bring in $2.7 million per year, 15 percent will go toward financial aid and 70 percent to college of business for academic support. In addition, 15 percent will go to the Provost and other academic initiatives.
Kimball said the increase in tuition will not be easy on her pocketbook.
"Some people are grateful to have scholarships, but for people who have to take out loans, it's difficult," said Kimball.
Non-business majors who take business classes will also pay the extra cost.
The total cost of the tuition, will be known after the Board of Visitors sets the tuition rate for 2014.
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