HAMMOND, LA (WVUE) - Southeastern Louisiana University is taking steps to protect students and parents from cuts to higher education. After years of tuition increases, administrators are promising to freeze costs and guarantee classes.
Southeastern President John Crain said for each of his eight years at the helm, students have faced tuition hikes, it's one of the biggest challenges for college students.
"With the increased fees, I have to find extra money to cover my expenses," said sophomore Nidghon Woods.
"We gave up on alternative plans," Crain said. "We had this last year, our 18th budget cut."
Crain said Southeastern is now trying to bring stability to the cost of college.
"We will freeze tuition and fees for four years," he said.
The university is also guaranteeing that students who commit to graduating in four years will get all the classes they need to do so - a big promise given the cuts to Higher education for the past eight years.
"We've seen an uptick in enrollment, and it's hard to get all the classes because so many students need to take them," said senior student and SGA President Erin Fernandez.
The Southeastern tuition freeze is only good if students can get out in four years, and for many that's becoming more difficult.
"My schedule won't allow that," said Woods. "I have three minors. I will take five years."
Southeastern currently enrolls more than 14,000 students and hopes the new program will attract more.
"This is important and something we hope will be a game changer for Louisiana," said Crain.
"When we face uncertainty with TOPS, this is a good progressive program," said Fernandez.
The program kicks in this fall. Southeastern University administrators said the program has been successful in other states, but this is the first of its kind for Louisiana.