"This means that I would have missed out on all of the amazing opportunities that Renaissance College has offered me, such as a full-time summer job working to develop leadership skills amongst at-risk youth in New Brunswick, and a 10 week internship in Bhutan that I will set out on at the end of next month. In a more general sense, I would have never experienced the university program that has helped me to grow exponentially as a person and as a leader, and has consistently felt like it was made just for me. I worry that other students in a similar situation to myself are going to feel similar pressures with this tuition raise. I want the unparallelled university experience that I’ve had to this point to be available to all other students that Renaissance College admits into their innovative and unique program, and I worry that a raise in tuition will make Renaissance College inaccessible to some students.
I also worry that this decision was made based on stereotypes and misconceptions of Renaissance College. Renaissance College is very obviously a comparably inexpensive program to run. We have a limited number of full-time staff, and strive to have the lowest cost of education for students in terms of resources such as in-class equipment, and to emphasize this point, we don’t even have desks. For these reasons, I’m led to believe that the decision to raise the fees for Renaissance College was made because it is a competitive program and that there is an understanding that students will pay regardless of the price of tuition. This raises ethical concerns for me because this fee raise has the potential to turn Renaissance College into an elite and exclusive program, that would seemingly be only accessible to upper-class students from affluent families – a negative misconception that Renaissance College already holds.
Also, I wish to pursue a degree in Law after my time at Renaissance College. Before this tuition raise, I was planning on doing so at UNB, however, I am now reconsidering this decision. UNB Law appealed to me for a number of reasons, such as being able to stay in the province that raised me and at the university that I have come to love, but also because of the comparably low tuition. I envisioned finishing my law degree at UNB and being in a financial position to pursue a passionate career surrounding social justice. However, with the proposed fee raise, I would likely be unable to do so. I would have to pursue a career in an area of law where I could make a higher salary until I am able to pay off my significant student debt, which could be a considerable portion of my early career. I worry that this fee raise is not only an inconvenience, but that it dramatically changes the trajectory of my life path and the life path of students in similar situations.
For the reasons stated I hope that you are able to reconsider this tuition reset. I would request that the vote be delayed until at least October, giving time for proper consultation and education to be conducted amongst students and faculty - the main stakeholders involved with this fee raise. I feel that this fee raise is being unexpectedly forced onto students and that it reflects poorly on the transparency of our university and our UNB administration."