McNeese students will pay more in fees this fall - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

McNeese students will pay more in fees this fall

(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC) (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

If you receive TOPS, your fall semester will be a little less stressful now that the program is fully funded.

But while that burden has been lifted at least for now, universities in Louisiana have decided to raise their fees, including McNeese.

“I can buy textbooks now instead of just wondering should I buy it on Amazon,” said junior Christina Vo. 

And for many students like Vo, finding out that TOPS will be fully funded come fall semester is a huge relief.

“It’s a huge help. It’s going to help out a lot,” said sophomore Caitlyn Davis. 

“I’m so happy it’s going to make it easier academic-wise," said freshman Xavier Davis. " I got money. I don’t have to worry about financial aid (or) being cut from a class. I can strictly focus on my academics.”

Because some remember what last semester was like when TOPS was cut.

“It was tough, but you know I got through it I guess,” said freshman William Hensgens.

But some didn’t even bother applying, because they weren’t sure if TOPS would be fully funded this year.

“No one knew if they were going to raise the requirements or drop the requirements so I just didn’t even apply for it,” said freshman Kai Carriere-Richard. 

But while students who do receive TOPS can relax about tuition, their university fees, not so much.

McNeese is one of the seven universities in Louisiana that will be increasing their fees.

Students will see a four percent increase of $144.51 per semester that will go back into the university and help fund things like professors' salaries.

“In order for us to keep the teachers that are remaining here at the institution," said Ralynn Castete, Director of Scholarships. "In order to cover all things in terms of keeping on the lights, all the way to anything in which we have to make maintenance on buildings. All of those types of things have to continue to be funded in that particular area.”

Castete says some of the fees were also voted to be raised by students, but she believes most understand why.

“Students are understanding that things come at a cost, and that they are willing to pay that additional cost when they can see that there is some good that can come of it.”

And while there is give and take when it comes to paying for school, most agree it’s still worth it in the end.

“No matter how long it takes, go ahead and put everything to the side and remember that’s your main priority: coming to school and getting that degree," said Davis. 

Castete says tuition for the fall semester will be around $2,600. Students can expect to pay $1,200 to $1,400 in student fees. 

Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved. 

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