Sample Student Paper

Score a Goal or Score a Degree

Imagine some students going to a store with twenty dollars; the goal in mind is to buy a book that enhances one’s knowledge for their future career and a football to play with in their leisure. There are four options to choose from: First, a  book that holds all the knowledge to succeed in your future career,second a book with some knowledge on succeeding in your future career, third a football sponsored by Nike , and fourth a football sponsored by Wilson. The book with all the knowledge was seventeen dollars, and the book with some knowledge was three dollars. The Nike football was seventeen dollars, and the Wilson football was three dollars. Instead of spending the money wisefully, they spent their twenty dollars on the seventeen dollars  football and the three dollars book with less knowledge. Their decision limited their chances of succeeding academically. The same goes for the student fees here at UCA.

Instead of UCA using  more money on our library and writing center services, we, the students,  have to spend six  times more on athletic fees. As of now the athletics department is funded eighteen dollars per credit hour, the library is funded three dollars per credit hour, and writing and retention center  is only funded thirty-five cents. UCA should lower the athletics fee by eight dollars; by doing this four dollars could be transfered to the library fee, and the other four dollars would be transferred to the writing and retention fee. By doing this, the athletic department will still have an ample amount of revenue, and the writing and retention center as well as the library can improve with the increase in revenue.

Here at UCA, students pay eighteen dollars per credit hour to fund the athletics department. As of 2016, UCA has approximately has  11,487 student enrolled. To be a full- time student, the student must take at least twelve hours. When taking this into consideration and calculating the amount of revenue, it comes to about 2.5 million dollars per semester. According to UCA’s Tuitions and Fees 2016-17, this money is used to support the athletic department by funding travel, athletic scholarships, employee salaries, and general operations.(UCA)Besides women and men’s sports, this money also supports intercollegiate and recreational sports. In 2014-2015, the fee stood at seventeen dollars, but the fee has just recently increase to eighteen dollars . According to UCA’s Board of Trustees, this was the justification for this change:

A multi-year review was performed on the athletics budget to determine if the current funding model was sustainable since there has not been an increase in the athletic fee since FY2010-11. It was determined the budget would require an additional defined revenue stream.With the one dollar increase, UCA’s athletic fee is still the third lowest out of the four Division I Arkansas public universities. (UCA)

This change was basically conducted to increase the value of our athletics.

The library fee per credit hour currently stands at three dollars. After taking the amount of students enrolled, the amount of hours it takes to be a full time student, and the amount currently charge per credit hour, the total amount of revenue comes to about four-hundred-fourteen thousand dollars per semester. According to UCA’s Tuitions and Fees 2016-17, this money is used to fund library improvements, remodeling online databases, and other various projects.(UCA 2016) According to UCA’s library files, “library improvements include furniture, electrical outlets, ceiling fans, and color scanners. Two areas that are currently under development with this fee money are extended library hours and subsidized printing.” (UCA 2016). Remodeling online databases are also important, because it supports teaching and research. With these databases, it gives students access to exclusive research databases without charging then for the sources.

The writing/retention fee for UCA per credit hour, as of  2016, is thirty-five cents. Per semester, it comes to about forty-eight thousand dollars that the writing centers is funded. According to UCA’s Tuitions and Fees 2016-17, this money funded the Academic Success Center, the writing center, and wages for tutors.(UCA ) The Academic Success Center is a system of tutoring services. Students can come to seek assistance with UCA core course or upper level math courses. The writing center is where students can seek assistance for writing. According to UCA’s Writing center, their mission is to guide students through the composing process for any writing project or oral presentation, for any class, at any stage of the process.(UCA)

The athletic fee should be cut because the drastic amount of money that is going towards the athletic department is limiting our academics. Students rely on academics more than sports, and in order to be successful in our academics we, the students, must have the proper resources. The lack of funding on the writing/retention center and the library proves that UCA has a lack of focus on what really matters, which is academics. The favoring of sports over academics is also favored at other colleges. According to Wolverton, Brad, Kambhampati, and Sandhya many athletic departments provide millions of dollars in scholarships and academic support for players. But as elite programs have received bigger television payouts and increased licensing revenue, athletics leaders have used almost all of it to cover sports expenses  even though many of those officials argue that new revenue from sports allows them to spend more on academics. (Wolverton et al.sports programs) Although it may seem like the revenue brought in from the athletics department somehow apply to the well being of the students academics, in reality it does not.

The increase of the athletics department fee also raises the total tuition cost for attending UCA. According to Wolverton, Brad, Kambhampati, and Sandhya Many universities are demanding that their students pay more to support sports at the same time they are raising tuition, forcing many students to take out bigger loans to pay the bill. (Wolverton et al. “Ssports” cost) Although the money being paid to the athletics department is helpful to the staff and athletes, it is not fair for this department to create a financial strain on other students who don’t potentially benefit from their services.

Why cut the athletic fee? UCA’s athletic department brings in the most revenue, as well as provide scholarships for students who have a gift to succeed in sports. It also allows the hard working staff in this department to get paid a comfortable salary. It seems like this fee is the most important. That is wrong. Although some believe the athletics department plays an ample role in UCA, it is academics that set the foundation. Students come to UCA to hopefully gain a bachelor’s or master’s degree of some nature, not mainly athletics. The library and the writing and retention fee should be raised because it assures students that they have the resources to succeed academically. Athletes also benefit from these two fees just as much as other ordinary students. It is mandatory for these student to  obtain a certain amount of study hall hours, as well as certain GPA. If these student don’t maintain these requirements, they could get kicked off of the team they are on or fail as a student. Without the help of the library and the writing and retention fee, these athletes would not be as successful athletically or academically. According to Luther Joseph from Florida National University, “While you have a commitment to your team and coach, academics must always come first. At the end of the day, athletics will always be an extracurricular activity and does not guarantee you an athletic career after graduation. Of course, some students do achieve this route, but it is simply not realistic to assume that athletics will be your gateway to a successful professional career.”(Joseph)  Although the student athletes are successful now, it is not guaranteed that athletics will be in their future. Academics absolutely are beneficial to student athletes because it guarantees that they have an education to fall back on.

If the students of UCA agree with the notion of lowering the athletics fee of eight dollars, ensuring that four dollars should go to the library fee and four dollars should got to the writing and retention fee, then I believe that they should call for action. Students should also pay more  attention to where their money is going to. Being more aware of these fees, could allow students to voice their opinions, as well as concerns, and hope for change. This simple act of courage could save the students of UCA academic stress, as well as money.  UCA is fine school to pursue one’s post secondary education, but it would appear more superior to others if UCA assured their students that their main goal was to help them succeed in their future careers.


Works Cited

Wolverton, Brad, Kambhampati, Sandhya. “As Sports Programs Get Richer, Few Give Much for Academics” 24 Jan. 2016

Joseph, Luther. “Balancing Academics and Athletes.” 7 Nov. 2013.

Wolverton, Brad.Hallman, Ben. Shifflett,Shane. Kambhampati,Sandhya. “Sports At Any Cost” 15 Nov. 2015