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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Tuition and Fees to Increase by Over $300 in 2024-25 School Year

The tuition increases will go to annual staff compensation increases and career services, with fees going toward mental health services for students.
Madelyn Foulger
(Design by Madelyn Foulger | The Daily Utah Chronicle)


After this year’s mandatory tuition freeze, University of Utah students must pay 3.28% or $338 dollars more in combined tuition and fees for the 2024-25 school year.

This means the U continues to have the highest tuition in the state, exceeding the next-highest university in Utah by more than $2,000 per year. But U President Taylor Randall said the university still is one of the cheapest compared to peer institutions out of state in the Pac-12 and AAU conferences.

The Utah Board of Higher Education approved the increase on March 22.

In the meeting, Randall added the amount of return on investment for students at the U is also significant, noting graduates currently have an average starting annual salary of $65,000.

“The payback comes really quick,” Randall said.

The tuition and fees hike is the fifth-highest percentage increase out of Utah’s eight colleges but amounts to the largest sum of dollars.

“Honestly, I’m disappointed but not surprised,” said Jaylee Aston, a junior studying gender studies and health, society and policy at the U. She suggested that the U is becoming less and less competitive, with an acceptance rate of 89%.

“With that, the U sees money,” Aston said. “I get that inflation is an issue, but I bet they have ways to keep the tuition costs lower.”

Where Does the Money Go?

A large portion of the money raised by the tuition increase will be directed towards annual staff compensation increases, said Randall. In 2022, the Chronicle reported about 80% of tuition goes toward salaries.

Every year, the Utah State Legislature designates 75% of the funds that are needed to go towards those mandated raises for college staff, which are meant to counteract inflation. Colleges are expected to pay the remaining 25%, which comes mostly from tuition revenue.

Jake Brand, a freshman studying computer science, feels like it just adds more to already expensive tuition and fees, but if it’s going to the “right places, then it’s fine … because faculty getting paid more is beneficial.”

Randall said there are 8,000 faculty members on campus, and the $2.5 million they’ll receive from this increase is needed to promote and retain them.

Aviana Cox, a freshman studying environmental studies, said it “sucks to have a tuition increase” for students, but it makes sense if you know why it’s happening.

“We’ve got some great professors here … and they deserve pay [increases],” Cox said.

Another $2 million funded by the increases will go to career services for students, which Randall notes will help advisors better counsel students on how to get jobs and be able to negotiate for higher salaries. 

“We mostly try to invest tuition increases into student experiences,” Randall said.

Next school year, students will also have to pay an additional $9.75 in fees per semester, which will go towards increasing access to mental health services on campus, as well as to Fine Arts and Campus Connect. That means the fee total will be $1,203 per year.

Randal added that 20% of students reported in a recent survey they miss some school activity in a given week because of mental health concerns, so it’s important to increase funding for those services.

London Kelley, a junior studying political science, isn’t surprised by the increase but hoped the U wouldn’t, “especially as the cost of housing in Salt Lake is soaring.”

“I’m fortunate to be on scholarship and supported by my parents, so the increase will thankfully not affect me that much,” Kelley said. “However, my friends are not in the same situation and pay for college themselves.”

In the meeting with USHE, Randall said he’s identified $100 million worth of expenses within the U’s budget that he believes can be lessened over the next three years.

He added that his hope is to ease the burden on students as much as possible.

In the meeting, the board also approved higher differential tuition increases for the school’s executive MBA, professional MBA and online MBA programs.


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About the Contributors
Andrew Christiansen
Andrew Christiansen, Online Managing Editor
Andrew Christiansen was the Assistant Editor of the news desk at the Chrony for a year before becoming Online Managing Editor in May 2023. He graduated from Salt Lake Community College with his associate degree in journalism and digital media in 2021. Andrew has also been a SLUG Magazine contributor since the summer of 2021 and has interned for KUER and The Salt Lake Tribune. When not writing or editing, Andrew can be found at concerts around Salt Lake (his favorite venues are Kilby Court and the Urban Lounge), watching movies at Salt Lake Film Society, or out on walks and hikes listening to music and podcasts.
Madelyn Foulger
Madelyn Foulger, Social Media Manager, Design Contributer
Madelyn started at the Chronicle in 2022 as a social media contributor and designer before becoming Social Media Manager in May 2023. She's majoring in film and media arts with a minor in human rights and resources. Madelyn enjoys various creative pursuits, including writing, illustration, design, film, and photography.

Comments (4)

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  • S

    SarahApr 10, 2024 at 4:56 pm

    “In the meeting, Randall added the amount of return on investment for students at the U is also significant, noting graduates currently have an average starting annual salary of $65,000”

    This statement needs data to back it up as the pay range for STEM majors (traditionally associated with higher base pay than other majors) who are hired into tech positions out of undergrad
    are in Paygrade C which has a range of 25-53k/year (at the UofU).

    I worked for 7 yrs as a tech -> lab manager, worked hard to prove myself and actively asked for raises above the yearly allowances (which were normally 2-3%). My final salary was $51 k/year (which I got for 1 month before starting grad school). I find it hard to believe that undergraduates earn an average starting salary of $65k when medical residents (who earn an MD, 4 years on top of undergrad) have starting salaries around $69k, and post-docs around $56k (who earn a PhD, 4-7 years on top of undergrad).

    There is potential that the average is skewed higher if this number was generated from a survey, thus a median is what should be reported. Potentially, more people go to industry to earn more, thus also skewing the average. But at least, if you go on to work for the UofU after earning a bachelor’s degree, you are not making $65k/ year.

  • N

    NateMar 27, 2024 at 10:00 am

    It isn’t as simple as just giving professors a raise though, is it? It includes all faculty.
    Since University employee wages are available to the public, you can see that just under 30 university employees are paid over $1,000,000.00 in wages, and well over 100 university employees are paid over $500,000.00 in wages (not including benefits).
    These employees include a mix of administrators, athletic coaches (5 of which make over $1,000,000.00, two make over $3,000,000.00), and, of course, professors.
    While these people do a great job, I don’t think there is any argument that they should earn any more than $500,000.00 from an institution funded by the government and by students, half of whom are in debt. This is generous, considering the median income in Utah is $31,855.
    You can find university employee pay at transparent . utah . gov

  • S

    samMar 27, 2024 at 9:24 am

    So Randall says he’s identified over 100 million worth of expenses he can cut… But he doesn’t cut them and instead raises tuition?

    This institution is falling from the 89% acceptance rate. We already have too many students and not enough facilities. I can barely get into in-person upper-division classes. I have absolutely nowhere to park. Dorms, if you are lucky enough to even get one, are extremely expensive, especially for what you receive.

    I sorely wish the university would focus on its current students instead of steamrolling over us for money. Or at least be a little more subtle about it.

  • C

    CharlesMar 26, 2024 at 6:45 pm

    The University claims diversity is essential but yet continues to create barriers for underprivileged communities to afford higher education.