Students choose UNO largely for its lower price tag

Kellie Vedros, Reporter

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 From research opportunities and a diverse array of programs to a diverse student body and  increased enrollment, the University of New Orleans has plenty to offer its students. But for many students, UNO stood out mostly because of its low price tag.

  UNO has been named the best college for lowest student loan debt in Louisiana, according to LendEDU’s 2017 Student Loan School Debt by School by State report — and its budget-friendly tuition price is a major reason students choose to enroll.

  “My main reasons for choosing UNO were that it was closer to my house, tuition was cheaper and the types of classes being offered,” said India Carter, a junior. “I came here because it was cheaper than Loyola, really.”

  Even though many schools offer scholarships and financial aid, these awards may not always be enough to cover tuition and fees. UNO has a reputation for not only being cheaper than most four-year universities and offering numerous scholarship opportunities, it’s also close to home for many students (which can also cut housing costs).  More than half of the current student body lives off-campus and drives to school each day.

  “Commuting is a pain for me because it can be hard to find rides sometimes,” said Rachel Billiot-Bruleigh. “But I do think it’s better than living on campus because I’m a big family person. My siblings would miss me, and it really saves money.”

  UNO is a school full of commuters, but living far away from campus can cause these students to miss out on activities and club participation. It’s not always convenient for commuters to attend these events. Neeha Mathew, a senior, said there’s not much the university can do to make these events more convenient for commuter students.

  “Any improvements made would be [better] on my part,” Mathew said. “I’d put forth a better effort without losing focus.”

  Other students chose UNO because of its Study Abroad programs. Some are funded by scholarships, making them an affordable way to experience other cultures.

  “I went on study abroad to Costa Rica twice with UNO, had lots of fun and gained great experiences, and was able to do so because of the scholarships UNO offers through its international department and the resources they provide,” Billiot-Bruleigh said.

  However, students say UNO cuts corners in some areas.  Students feel many of the buildings could use renovations. Milneburg has mold, and the Liberal Arts building’s room numbering system is too confusing to navigate. Class offerings also could use improvements.

  “They need to bring back the geography department,” said a student who wished to remain unnamed. “I don’t know why they got rid of it! I loved those classes and I’ve been struggling picking stuff to replace them since they’ve been gone.”

  Ultimately, budget is a larger consideration for many students, but it shouldn’t be the only factor when deciding where to enroll.

  “The biggest things to consider are if you’ll be getting a quality education for the price you pay, and if you’ll enjoy being there,” Carter said.

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Students choose UNO largely for its lower price tag