A looming tuition hike at West Texas A & M is already putting a financial squeeze on students. Mandy Arrowsmith says a tuition jump at WT has her scrambling to balance her budget.
"It's just gonna be hard for me just because the pay that I get 'cause I pay rent, I pay my phone bill. It's gonna hurt me dramatically because I have to pay all that by myself and my checkbook's gonna go down every time I get a bill," says Arrowsmith.
University officials tell us they will use the funds for faculty pay raises and add nearly half a million dollars to available scholarships. Another reason behind the tuition increase is to spend extra money bringing more out-of-town students like Arrowsmith to WT.
"The fact is you know the population of the Texas panhandle is just not one of those areas that are increasing in population rapidly as some areas in the state, so we'll be in some of the areas in the metroplex areas doing some recruiting for WT," says Gary Barnes, WT's Vice President of Finance.
University officials are planning a media blitz on cities like Dallas and Houston but Arrowsmith says the higher price tag could make it hard for some classmates to stick around.
"Alot of students are worried that they're not gonna be able to afford to go to school anymore and you know they're gonna be like wow how am I gonna pay for it? And they're probably looking at other options which is sad but I hope they don't because WT is a great school," says Arrowsmith.