Suggested subject line: Provost Rosenbaum: Eliminate AR Tuition Now
Dear Provost Rosenbaum,
As a graduate student at the University of Chicago, I write to you with my concern over the undue burden that Advanced Residence out-of-pocket tuition places on the financial resources and time-to-degree of graduate students. I sincerely hope that your pending decision on the AR system will take my concern and my proposed solution below into account.
As the report of the Committee on Advanced Residence and Time to Degree recognizes, the current rate of AR out-of-pocket tuition at $2,600 is too high. I appreciate your decision to have frozen any increases for the past two years, but I appeal to you to take the step of completely eliminating this burden on AR students.
I stand with many graduate students in asking for the elimination of AR tuition because it is clearly one of the biggest hurdles to the timely completion of our degrees and it continues to hurt us financially. I disagree with the assertion that this fee is an incentive for graduate students to finish faster. Many students try to obtain as much teaching as possible in all three quarters of the academic year, just to avoid the high cost of the out-pocket tuition. And other students, who have little or no access to teaching jobs, struggle to find the funds to pay this fee.
I write with the knowledge that you have gathered feedback from different constituencies of the University over the past few months. While graduate students have had opportunities to voice their concerns and provide serious proposals for reforming the current system, I write to you to re-iterate the concerns of an overwhelming majority of graduate students, as I have heard it expressed at various forums and through many conversations.
I commend the Committee s recommendations for creating more scholarships for graduate student research, for building a public database for teaching opportunities, and for advocating more supervision and advising for graduate students. However, the issue of AR out-pocket-tuition remains a serious concern to me and my fellow graduate students at the University of Chicago. I hope that your decision will take this concern and my proposed solution into account.