Fall tuition rates freeze, room and board increases

By Alex Hoffman

Illustration by Cate Rinchak

The board of trustees approved a proposal to freeze tuition for the 2013-2014 academic year during their January meeting. This means tuition will remain at its current level of $23,300.

According to a College Board report, the average increase in tuition and fees for private four-year colleges for the 2012-2013 academic year was 4.2 percent.

“The tuition freeze will become more impactful as other colleges announce their increases for the next year,” Jeff Berggren, senior vice president for enrollment management and marketing, said.

Despite the fact that tuition will not increase for 2013-2014, room and board costs will increase by $240 to $8,180 per year. Other fees will also increase to $740 per year, which includes a $10 increase in existing fees and a new $250 fee that will support an upgrade to the university’s wireless internet and printer services.

Freshman Jaime Hillegonds said that it is reassuring to know that tuition would not be going up, but the fact that room and board is going up makes her nervous.

“It is already so expensive to live on campus, but it is a lot of students’ only choice because they do not come from Huntington,” she said.

Berggren said undergraduate tuition makes up approximately 70 percent of the total revenue for the university budget.

Berggren said that freezing tuition will require the university to focus efforts on expanding other sources of revenue, such as advancement giving and other initiatives.

Vince Haupert, senior vice president for advancement, said that fundraising efforts have already been expanded.

“Giving to the Forester Fund is up 10 percent over the previous year and is currently higher than any of the previous 5 years,” Haupert said.

He also said that other revenue-generating initiatives include for-profit business opportunities through HU Ventures, an expansion of online course offerings, and growing the reach of degree completion programs.

Berggren said admissions could be impacted by the tuition freeze.

“Depending on financial aid and other factors in the final cost of attendance, it [the tuition freeze] could make a difference in the final decision of new students if they are choosing between similar schools to HU,” Berggren said.

Berggren said that the tuition freeze is good for both prospective students and current students.

“It is a good story to share with prospective students,” Berggren said. “It should also be encouraging to current students to know that the major piece of their college expense will be the same next year.”

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