New Requirements Cost Students

from Tyler Stern

Feb. 1, 2013, 1:25 p.m.

This may be a little vague for those of you who don't go to Emory, so here's the website that explains all of the changes happening to our academic curriculum.

With new graduation requirements, students lose choice.

If the college of arts and sciences failed to upset the entirety of the undergraduate student body with their budget cuts last fall, then they must be trying very hard to provoke the remaining minority that don’t have a stake against the college. This past Monday, an email was released notifying the undergraduate student body about impending changes to the academic system that would affect credit hours, graduation requirements, and course scheduling. Some of these changes I found to be understandable, such as the revision of credit hours to better match the amount of time spent actually in class, but what struck me as incredibly unnecessary was the new graduation requirement for all students to take a minimum of 32 courses.

With this new requirement in effect, the majority of students would now lose the opportunity to graduate early unless they decided to add extra classes to their regular four course schedule. While an extra class doesn’t sound like much, the extra time spent in class could also potentially tip a student’s schedule from manageable to unbearable. More importantly, many students see the chance to graduate early as a way to save money by avoiding an extra semester of astronomical tuition fees and absurd textbook prices. However, this new system undermines those who find it difficult to meet rising college payments in an already turbulent economy.

On the FAQ website that the email provided, it explains that the reason for the 32 course requirement is to ensure “that all graduates of Emory College have appropriate depth in their majors as well as breadth across the curriculum” since some students will have more four or five hour classes than others under the new system. While this is a noble premise that I agree with, it is simply not a sensible approach for enlightening students to other fields considering it’s potential financial repercussions. To me, it seems as if the administrators are gambling with our money and futures, as well as making an extra dollar while they’re at it. Perhaps this was truly meant as a way to improve the academic quality or reputation of the college, but the decision comes off as a blatant attempt increase revenue at the students’ expense.

Unless an alternative to the 32 course requirement is found, the College of Arts and Sciences will no longer appear to hold the best interests of the students as their number one concern.

--Tyler Stern is a college freshman from Plainsboro, New Jersey


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