Tuition increases 9% overall; differential hikes also pass

By Michael McFall, Staff Writer

Tuition will most likely go up 9 percent next year to offset the Utah Legislature’s 17.5 percent cut of the U’s budget.

The U Board of Trustees approved the tuition increase during its monthly meeting Tuesday morning. Resident students will pay an average of $233 more per semester and non-residents will pay $777 more.

The board also approved a higher tuition increase for the colleges of law, engineering, medicine, business, architecture and pharmacy, as well as the public administration and gerontology graduate and Master’s programs.

The differential tuition increases vary from college to college, but most raised their tuition for full-time students between $400 and $700 per academic year. The exceptions were the colleges of law and pharmacy, which increased their yearly tuitions between $2,600 and $4,500.

Differential tuition is meant to ensure that the faculty and class sizes do not shrink as a result of state budget cuts. For the College of Engineering, every percent cut from the budget equates the pay for two faculty members, according to its proposal for differential tuition.

“We’re not going to grow, but this is to ensure that our enrollment and quality doesn’t drop,” said Maureen Keefe, dean of the College of Nursing.

In order to make the tuition hikes easier on students, the board also approved an additional $700,000 for need-based financial aid. U President Michael Young said there will also be a greater push next year to inform students about federal Pell Grants, which were under-utilized last year.

“We need to do everything we can to enhance financial support so that (students) can attend,” said Trustee Tim Anderson.

Keefe said maintaining steady enrollment is particularly important for her college, as the nation is undergoing a nursing shortage. The Health Resources and Services Administration projects that the shortage would grow to more than 1 million by 2020.

In order to curb the nursing college’s largerb tuition hike, the board approved eliminating a $100 student fee within the college that funded a computer program. Students used the software to assess their academic knowledge.

Before moving forward with the differential tuition proposals, including the elimination of the nursing fee, each college sought the approval of its students. According to the proposals, the colleges received the endorsement of their student advisory committees.

“We had student leadership help us develop the increase,” said Hiram Chodosh, dean of the S. J. Quinney College of Law. His college expects to generate $1 million per year in revenue from the differential tuition.

For full-time undergraduate students, the U’s tuition and fees are still lower than the average public four-year college, which is $6,585, according to the College Board.

[email protected]

Tyler Cobb

David Pershing, the senior vice president of academic affairs, explains to the Board of Trustees how the legislative budget cuts will affect the U and how much the purposed tuition increase would help make up.