The war and it's affect on your TUITION bill.

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Posted by Middle Finger from ( on Monday, April 28, 2003 at 1:55PM :

How the U.S.'s war on Iraq will affect YOUR tuition bill.

As the war on Iraq looms and the economy troubles continue to grow, how
does going to war with Iraq impact your tuition bill? Far more than most
students are aware of.

With the federal government already predicting a record $307 billion
deficit for next year, a war on Iraq will substantially add to this
deficit and severely affect the domestic economy. According to the
Congressional Budget Office, a two-month war with a two-year occupation,
not including rebuilding and humanitarian costs, could cost over $100
billion . The U.S. has also made it clear that nation building is a key
aspect to the war, so the cost of rebuilding will add an estimated 4
billion dollars a month to the original estimate. Here are some key
facts that will shed some light on the correlation between a war abroad
and financial desperation at home:

* Funding the Iraq war at the state level will add additional
economic pressures on top of the deficits that many states are already
running. According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 40 states are
grappling with budget shortfalls and legislators are targeting higher
education, including state universities for Georgia, Kentucky,
Minnesota, for big cuts . This will leave universities to face the
question of funding for the coming years. University budget cuts already
are affecting colleges and universities through tuition hikes, halting
of school programs and hiring freezes. For example, the University
System of Maryland, has already been hit with a $67 million cut this
year. These cuts have resulted in a nearly 11 percent rise in tuition,
hiring freezes, and future staff layoffs and additional cuts currently
being debated in the State legislature.
* Administrators and trustees have turned to raising tuition to make
up the shortfalls of funding from federal and state sources. With state
schools educating about 80% of all students in higher education, the
increases are affecting some of the most populous state schools. At Ohio
State, for example, one of the largest state schools, with over 48,000
students (and one of the schools that has passed an anti-war
resolution), this year's freshmen are paying 19% more than last year's .
The University of Kansas is charging 25% more than last fall, and The
University of Washington and Washington State announced 16% increases --
a year after saying the rise would only reach 6%. While The University
of Illinois had hoped to keep tuition increases between 3% to 5%, hit by
a $73 million budget cut, it's aiming at a 10% increase - adding an
extra $1000 onto freshman fees. And there will be a 19% increase in
tuition at University of Iowa this fall, forcing many students are to
drop out until they can figure out alternative ways to pay for college.
As a sign of this, many experts are anticipating more students to forgo
public four-year universities with the hopes of attending less-expensive
community colleges in order to transfer after two years.

How the War Budget will Affect Your States:

The White House has until very recently been vague about its war budget,
and has repeatedly avoided any debate over the cost of war to the public
and Congress. In the last week of March, a full two weeks after the war
with Iraq commenced, Bush proposed a 75 billion dollar "Wartime
Supplemental" spending bill laying out the costs of war . A full $59
billion of this will go to the war, $4.2 billion to Homeland Security,
$5.5 billion for foreign economic and military assistance and a paltry
$2.48 billion set aside for all post-war reconstruction, humanitarian
assistance, and relief. And these costs only cover money we have already
used up. Even at these more moderate estimates-many say this funding
could run out by the end of May-such a price tag will strongly affect
federal funding and U.S. states that are experiencing huge tax cuts and
are suffering from deficits already:

* On February 24th, the White House met with state governors as to
the national budget and individual state's budgets for 2004. The
nation's governors came to Washington to complain about inadequate
federal funding for the states. Unfortunately they were hit with a more
worrisome problem, the fact that the White House was no longer going to
disclose state funding and appropriations to the states themselves. With
the White House choosing to discontinue its' annual report "Budget
Information for States", states will no longer be able to see what money
they are, or aren't, getting from Washington individually. This is the
primary federal document, used by states to determine how much they will
be receiving under each federal program.
* States are already facing budget shortfalls of about $30 billion
this year and $82 billion next year. While states want about $20 billion
from the federal government, President Bush has not proposed direct aid
to the states in his $726 billion 11-year economic plan. The states have
already begun to cut funding from schools, and the cuts will accelerate
without any federal assistance.

By avoiding disclosure of how much funding states will be receiving, the
federal government will constrain many states, and conversely state
universities, with what they will be able to provide for in the way of
student education. These state budget cuts do not take into account the
financial estimates by the federal government on the impending war on
Iraq. Adding on the cost of war in Iraq with state deficits will cost
U.S. taxpayers a great deal more in the end.

As the budgets at the federal and state level tighten, tuition levels
are increasing substantially. It is here that as a student one should be
concerned not only with the humanitarian toll but also the economic
costs of waging war in Iraq. Because, as the economy continues to
decline and tuition costs continue to rise, adding an expensive and
lengthy invasion will be costly in both human lives and financial costs.
Every dollar spent on the war is one not spent on health care, domestic
law enforcement, homeland security and especially education. Next
semester, when you open up your tuition bill, remember where your hard
earned money will be going towards, because it won't be going to your

Information compiled by IPS associates Diana Alonzo and Juliette Niehuss

-- Middle Finger
-- signature .

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