Budget cuts leave some uw-ec students scrambling for classes to graduate – eau claire leader-telegram

This new campus distress signal arises from the class registration taking place throughout April, specifically from the inability of many students to secure seats in the courses they need to graduate on time.

Rising complaints about class availability are a direct result of falling state funding for the UW System, students and administrators agreed.

At UW-Eau Claire, the $250 million cut in state funding for the public university system in the 2015-17 budget translated to a loss of 15 percent of its workforce to absorb a $7.7 million reduction in state aid, a loss compounded by enrollment declines that cost the university an additional $1.5 million. Direct student loan processing center The job losses came from a combination of buyouts, layoffs, resignations and retirements.

While administrators have tried hard to minimize the impact on students, the loss of 179 full-time-equivalent employees, including 69 teaching positions, forced UW-Eau Claire to offer 197 fewer class sections this semester compared with spring 2015, a drop of 12 percent, and increase the average class size by 14 percent, according to a budget impact fact sheet the university recently presented to the UW Board of Regents.

“I’ve definitely noticed a problem with class availability, especially this past year once teachers started retiring,” said UW-Eau Claire junior marketing major Brianna Willer, a North High School graduate. Canada student loans “My last two years have been tinged with this drama that the budget cuts have brought.”

“That’s definitely a problem if it delays graduation,” she said. Government student loans south africa “As a junior, I only have one fall and one spring semester left, and I can’t put off taking those classes any longer and still graduate next spring, so it’s a little scary.”

In response to the backlog of necessary classes Willer hasn’t been able to get into thus far, she and her adviser have mapped out a far from ideal plan that involves her taking a summer school class, a winterim class (between first and second semesters) and a heavy load of 18 credits in each of her final two semesters, including three challenging capstone courses next spring, to enable her to graduate in four years.

The situation is similar for Stephanie Snyder, another junior marketing major who graduated from North. Student loans company apply When Snyder’s assigned enrollment time arrived, two of the required marketing classes she signed up for were full, forcing her to go to the department chairwoman and get on a waiting list.

“I started noticing it really the semester after the budget cuts set in,” she said. Government loans student “Most everyone I know is having the same issue. Paying off student loans It’s just a hassle.”

Student Senate President Jake Wrasse agreed that widespread unavailability of classes during the current registration has really made the impact of the budget cuts hit home for students.

“Students are now feeling the pinch that comes when universities are forced to make cuts,” said Wrasse, who will graduate in May. Repaying student loans “Students have fewer course sections to choose from, and even scheduling a time to meet with an adviser is harder to come by. Department of education student loans This isn’t theoretical. Goverment student loans This is affecting real people.”

The reality is enrollment in College of Business courses used to be on a first-come, first-served basis, but now budget cuts are forcing officials to play a game of musical chairs in which they hold back some available seats from the enrollment website so they can prioritize which students have the greatest need for a shrinking number of seats.

As a result, said College of Business associate dean Timothy Vaughan, students are perceiving that many courses aren’t available, said College of Business associate dean Timothy Vaughan, “so we have a lot of freaked out students.”

“If a student needs a class to graduate, we’re going to get them that class, and if we can’t, we could make an exception and get them another, equally valuable class,” he said, adding that such changes to graduation requirements would be made on a case-by-case basis.

The bad news is that more often than not the university creates spots by adding seats to classes that are already full. Paying off student loans with a credit card In the College of Business, the normal class size was 30 to 35 students and large classes had 40 to 45 students before the budget cuts.

Michael Carney, UW-Eau Claire’s associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, said department chairs, as the first line of defense, generally are in charge of deciding how many sections of each class will be offered and how many students will be allowed in those sections. Student loans uk Examples of decisions chairs increasingly are being forced to make include eliminating electives because nobody is left to teach the course or offering one section of a class with 50 students instead of two sections with 25 students in each.

Wilson Taylor, chairman of UW-Eau Claire’s biology department, said his department is down five positions this year, forcing it to streamline the curriculum by cutting some small lab courses, where students gain valuable practical experience, and replacing them with larger lecture classes.

“I don’t think biology students will have trouble finding enough credits to finish in a timely fashion, but it will be more passive lectures and fewer labs,” Taylor said. Paying off student loans before graduation “This is, overall, a less satisfying and lower quality experience for most. Student loans company online In educational terms, the business model of increasing efficiency is not compatible with quality.”

“The impact of the budget cuts is real,” Carney said. Access student loans “We’re doing our best to minimize the impact, but there is no way that I know to make the impact zero.”

GOP Gov. Student loans gov consolidation Scott Walker, who led the effort to make massive cuts to the UW System budget in the last two bienniums, has said slashing the funding was necessary to balance the budget and freezing tuition was helpful in improving college affordability.

“Wisconsin students and their families saw tuition increase by 118 percent in the 10 years prior to Gov. Student loans gov contact Walker’s tuition freeze, and that freeze has saved them more than $6,000 on average over four years,” Walker spokesman Tom Evenson said.

UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt, however, called that number misleading. Repay federal student loans He explained that the overall 2016 system budget of $6.2 billion includes federal financial aid to students, grants and contracts for research, debt service and user fees for operating facilities such as student unions and residence halls.

The cuts in state aid came from the $952.5 million in unrestricted budget that is left over after those committed funds are removed from the equation. Website to pay back federal student loans That is the portion available to pay for teachers and classrooms, Schmidt said.

State Rep. Direct student loans payment center Warren Petryk, a town of Pleasant Valley Republican who sits on the Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee, said the potential negative impact of the UW System budget cuts on UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stout and UW-River Falls was among the primary reasons he voted against the 2015-16 state budget.

“I will continue to be a strong advocate for the UW-System to help ensure that it will remain a strong, affordable and relevant system of quality academic institutions,” Petryk said.

Junior English major Jordan Duroe of Eau Claire said the inflexibility of having so few sections of mandatory courses can be particularly hard on nontraditional students such as him who often balance jobs and families with their schooling.

Duroe, 29, said he quit a full-time job to accommodate an extremely limited schedule after budget cuts prompted the university to eliminate his library science minor after his graduating class is finished with the program.

“I am behind schedule in terms of where I want to be in terms of graduation because of class conflicts and stuff like that,” said Duroe, who is unhappy that more time in school will cost him more money in tuition.

He’s also angry that budget cuts have caused some of his favorite professors to leave the university and fears the trends will hurt the UW System’s reputation and, eventually, the state itself.

For Snyder, the financial consequences could strike immediately if she doesn’t get the classes for which she is on waiting lists. Government shutdown and student loans Without them or replacement classes, she is only registered for a part-time load of nine credits.

“That would affect financial aid and my ability to graduate on time,” Snyder said. Financial aid student loans maximum “Being less than full time would mean I’d have to start repaying my student loans too, and I can’t afford to do that right now.”

At this point, Snyder, who is working full time while attending college, plans to graduate in December 2017, although that is subject to the College of Business finding space for her in required but full classes.

The extra sessions Willer will have to attend to get the classes she needs to graduate next May figure to cost her at least an additional $3,000, but that price tag would rise by about 50 percent if she had to stay in school for another semester.

Junior biology major Nathan Sylte, a graduate of Chippewa Falls High School, blames an inability to enroll in necessary classes in a timely manner for his revised plan to attend college for 4½ years.

“If I knew I was going to get all the classes I needed, graduating in four years would have been no problem,” Sylte said, adding that pretty much all the students he talks to are running into similar problems.

Schmidt has pointed out in the past that the real cost of a student staying in college beyond four years goes beyond just the price of tuition and should include the “opportunity cost” of lost income too. Student loans company application form By that measure, he estimates the average cost of a fifth year of college totals about $50,000.

While the fallout from the budget cuts is putting a strain on students and teachers alike, none of it comes as a surprise to administrators, Vaughan said.

“The bottom line is you get what you pay for,” Vaughan said, quickly adding that everyone on the UW-Eau Claire campus is committed to making sure the quality of education remains high.

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