Why does my tuition keep on getting more and more expensive
every semester? Is HPU jagging up the tuition? Yes, but the
5 percent increase effective this summer is not what hurts
European students the most.
Most European students at HPU realize that every time a new
semester comes around it takes more of their currency to pay
the same tuition. In my case, tuition has increased by 10
percent from last semester because of this, which means my
tuition went up 15 percent. Iím from Denmark, and my countryís
currency, like the currencies of all European countries, is
weak relative to the U.S. dollar.
All the European economies are weak relative to the U.S.
economy, as anyone who is currently looking for a job in the
European countries knows. Unemployment is up in the Euro zone
(the European common currency area), and inflation has started
to accelerate. So whose job is it to fix these economic problems?
The European Central Bank. The ECB is the equivalent to the
Federal Reserve Bank here in the United States. Its responsibility
is to collect and analyze the economic data from the European
Union member countries and set interest rates to keep the
European economies balanced between growth and inflation.
The thing is that itís not only the member countries that
are affected by the ECBís decisions, but also the remaining
countries in Europe, because they are all closely connected.
We all know that U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan,
has cut interest rates eight times over the past eight months
to keep the U.S. economy from sliding into a recession. Why
doesnít the ECB just do the same?
According to Michael Lewis of Deutche Bank, it should do
just that. But it hasnít. In spite of U.S. encouragement to
lower interest rates in Europe, the ECB kept its current rate
unchanged at its meeting in the beginning of July. The ECB
inaction caused the dollar to appreciate and the European
currencies to depreciate, and this has been the case throughout
the past year. This is probably the single most significant
reason European students at HPU have to cough up more for
tuition every semester.
So what can we do about it? To be honest, there isnít much
we as insignificant college students can do. Just sit tight
and hope for the best. If you didnít buy dollars for tuition
and living expenses several months ago, then youíre up for
an unpleasant surprise next time you go to the bank to exchange
European currencies for dollars.