Utah Tech College: Do Student Fees, Employer-Tailored Training Need Reform?

Ann McClure's picture

As Utah’s statewide technical college readies for a growth spurt, a new audit says rising student fees and expenses are now higher than state-controlled tuition costs, and some of those charges are being used for campus expenses rather than programs.

The report comes as the Utah College of Applied Technology — which offers certification, licensing and training in fields from cosmetology to welding — seeks $9.75 million in state funding to expand its programs and triple the number of certificates it awards.

"UCAT is charged by the Legislature to have low tuition, but the statute doesn’t really say anything about fees," said President Robert Brems. "In the past few years, we’ve experienced a downturn in the economy. Our tuition has risen some, but I think the campuses have relied more on fees, so that’s something we’re going to be addressing."

The legislative audit praises the college, which also offers short accreditation courses, for improving program management — in fact, the portion of students placed in jobs last year was 87 percent, the highest in its history.

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