Editorial: Baylor@MCC creates better financial choices

Esteban Diaz | Editorial Cartoonist
Esteban Diaz | Editorial Cartoonist

Baylor and McLennan Community College are pooling their resources in a way that we expect will be truly beneficial to future students.

The Baylor@MCC co-enrollment plan will allow students to start their college careers by taking hours from both institutions for up to two years while participating in Baylor events and utilizing Baylor facilities. Students will pay the respective per-hour rates of each institution as well as the Baylor general student fee.

Currently prospective students don’t directly apply to the Baylor@MCC program. They apply to Baylor like any other student and then, if Baylor determines it does not have the capacity for them, they may be eligible for Baylor@MCC.

The plan is an innovative way to address space issues and open the Baylor family to more students than the university could previously accommodate. Not only will fewer students be turned away, but those students in the program will be enmeshed in the cultures of two schools. They will thereby have the potential to bring Baylor and MCC students together in new ways.

Further, the flexibility offered to students in allowing them to choose between a one- and two-year co-enrollment plan and allowing them to choose whether to live on campus or purchase a meal plan will give them great freedoms.

Those choices offer a semi-personalized program that fits their academic as well as financial needs. It is especially considerable given that the minimum required meal plan for Baylor freshmen this year costs $1,837 per semester, and the least expensive community hall housing rate is $2,359 per person per semester.

We especially applaud the provision allowing for slot offers to go to those who might not be able to afford to come directly to Baylor despite being accepted. As tuition becomes a more and more difficult issue for students and their families to address, it is great to see the university acknowledging that fact and creating one more alternative for students who deserve the Baylor experience but might struggle with its cost.

However, we wonder if there could be potential in the program being offered as a voluntary option to which students could apply directly. Students concerned with their financial situation might feel better about applying to the university if they know their acceptance would funnel them directly to this program.

Other students might simply prefer the flexibility that come with the program, or they might particularly like the idea of beginning their college career at least partially in the community college setting. While we understand this might be difficult to offer while the program is still in its pilot stages, we hope that it will be considered in the future.

Though Baylor@MCC will first be implemented as a pilot program for three years, we hope to see it continue to grow into a full-fledged program that will help to expand the Baylor family beyond our own walls for years to come.