Freshmen Amanda Carey, Austin Shelton, and Jerry Sullivan are preparing for their first classes as college students. The trio loaded up on textbooks at the student book store on Monday.
Carey estimates the required reading will cost around $500. Shelton's came in at $350. Those expenses come on top of a 12% tuition hike taking affect this semester.
"I had to take out a few loans, but we'll get through it," Shelton said.
Getting through it requires students to keep a close eye on their academic progress. Historically, general education courses have been "bottleneck" areas. Large numbers of students fight for limited space. Schedules will be shuffled around during the first week of class.
"They'll go to class on Wednesday, and then begin the drop/add process. That goes on for ten calendar days," said Dr. Susan Martin, Provost.
The university is taking a number of steps to alleviate the problem.
"We have been hiring lecturers as needed and also rearranging instructional staff to make sure we can ease student's paths through those bottleneck courses," Martin said.
They have also added extra advisors to help students track required courses, and they're encouraging many to take summer classes.
All to help students like Carey, Shelton, and Sullivan get the most bang for their buck in a timely fashion.
"It's crazy how expensive things are, but it's worth it, I love it here," Shelton said.