The Specht Pages: Overloading and Overspending

Are you overloading? Do you hate paying the overload fee? Hello and welcome to Specht Pages, the true and supreme voice of Lawrence University. In this celebratory 44th issue, we will discuss the much debated overload fee and present a comprehensive plan that will allow students to take the classes they require and the University to make the money it needs. So sit back, relax and don’t forget to recycle this paper immediately after reading it for lasting impact.

Ever since Lawrence announced the infamous overload fee, students have been protesting and generally throwing a hissy fit. In particular, strong opposition originates from those classes to whom the fee appliesspecifically, those graduating in 2016 or later.

Students have warned faculty that the fee would undermine our value of interdisciplinary studies, limit education to only those who can afford it, make certain majors very difficult to accomplish in four years, discourage study abroad and generally make our student body very grumbly.

Moreover, students have been creative in finding ways around the fee by being more careful in their planning, auditing classes and as Alan Duff so eloquently stated in a recent edition of The Lawrentian, taking independent studies for five units.

However, faculty members have asserted that students overloading raises the class sizes, causing Lawrence to increase class offerings and thus leading to higher tuition.

At press time, Lawrence charges $1,104 per overloading unit. However, when you do the math, you see that the tuition per term ($14,119 for 2014-2015) divided by the maximum number of units allowed before overloading (23) is much less than that ($613.87).

This discrepancy in price per unit may have something to do with units being more efficient to sell when sold in bulk.

If this is true, then Lawrence can offer different pricing for different overloading purchasing plans. For example, a freshman should have the option of buying an extra 23 units in his first year that he can use for overloading over his next four years for $14,119. Or perhaps if you only need 10 units for your four years, you can purchase them for a bulk price of $9,000 (or $900 each).

Moreover, perhaps we can combat the argument that we need the fee to help keep the budget balanced and the class sizes small by offering certain “overloading classes.” These are classes which will only be available to overloading students and other students who petition. These classes would have a high minimum class size (perhaps 30) and a disclaimer that the students enrolled would not get as much individual attention. Additionally, a Teacher’s Assistant may be necessary for grading purposes. However, in exchange for those changes, these “overloading classes” will be offered at a significant discount such as only $100 per unit being overloaded.

Finally, there should be more three unit offerings. Some professors could even take a class that they currently offer and split it over two terms to appeal to students who are trying to avoid the fee.

There you have it: a fresh perspective on a highly irritating topic! It’s hard work, but somebody’s got to do it.

“You heard it first from Specht Pages!”