University Announces 2015-16 Comprehensive Tuition

Cooper Josephs, Assistant News Editor

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The Board of Trustees approved the comprehensive tuition for the 2015-16 academic school year to be $62,368. This includes tuition, fees, and standard room and board.  Vice President for Finance and Administration, David Surgala, relayed the decision to students and parents via letter on Feb. 19.

According to Surgala’s letter, the raise is a product of rising costs of operating and improving upon “excellent facilities and employing highly qualified faculty and staff … academic programs … residential life and financial aid.”

Next year, 165,000 new square feet will be added to the campus grounds through the opening of the South Campus Apartments and the new commons building. The new buildings will cost $1.5 million to maintain every year, according to Assistant Vice President of Communications Andy Hirsch.

Within the last eight years, the numbers of faculty and staff have increased by 22 percent and 19 percent respectively, and the Board of Trustees recently approved an average three percent salary increase for faculty and staff.  However, a slower rate of future growth is likely.

“Moving forward, new faculty and staff positions are expected to be in response to modest specific needs, and possibly funded through external sources,” Hirsch said.

Several major reasons for the increased faculty and staff numbers throughout the past several years include:

  • Reducing faculty course load from 6:1 to 5:1.
  • Lowering the student-faculty ratio to 9:1.
  • Enhancing support for students in both academic and student affairs.
  • Hiring staff to meet federal mandates (i.e. Title IX requirements)
  • Increasing development staff to support the We Do Campaign, which seeks to raise half a billion dollars for the University.

The 3.7 percent comprehensive tuition increase will be assuaged by a 4.5 percent Financial Aid funds increase. The financial aid budget is now more than $50 million, according to Hirsch.

Brian Monahan ’15 said the changes the University have implemented over the course of his time have not had a direct tangible impact on him.

“In the four years I have been here I haven’t seen a palpable difference in my studies … Teachers already have ample office hours, and more often than not they are able to help you.  I feel like the student-teacher ratio here is really not a problem,” Monahan said.

Christopher Simone ’18 mentioned the student’s shift away from downtown living is another source of revenue for the University.

“They are already going to collect a lot more money on room and board next year since more people will be living on campus,” Simone said.

Simone mentioned how the price increases might not dissuade future students because many other schools are also increasing their prices. The University prices are comparable relative to peer institutions.

“Some people are going to get more financial aid, but there are still people who will pay full tuition,” Simone said.

Currently, 62 percent of students receive some form of financial aid, and the average financial aid package is $31,500.

From 2008 through 2016, the University has hovered between a 2.9 to 3.9 percent tuition increase.

 

 

 

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