Budgeting meeting brings up tuition, student topics

Blair Lord, the provost and vice president of academic affairs, spoke about incoming students and tuition during the Council on University Planning and Budgeting meeting on Friday. He said that Eastern’s normal yield rate for incoming students is 30 percent; however, this year it has dropped to about 28 percent.

“There is some nervousness about applications and tuition next year,” Lord said. “Some of the melt comes from students who even deposit money after being admitted but then still leave…Some students have been waived deposits as part of the recent economic climate.”

Lord also said that the decrease in incoming students might be due to a lack of financial assistance.

“Right now 22 percent of students have zero family assistance, meaning their parents contribute no money to their education,” Lord said. “Next fall that number is expected to jump to 26 to 27 percent. A lot of these students may have to focus on getting a job rather than going to school.”

William Weber, the vice president of business affairs, also spoke at the meeting.

He explained that future incoming tuition is difficult to predict.

“Different students have different tuition rates,” said Weber, “It’s based on year, or if they are a grad student. Some students have tuition waivers.”

Weber said that because of this uncertainty the university creates several models predicting incoming funds and how much money the university can earn from raising different tuition rates.

“We try and budget conservatively,” Weber said, “When there is excess, the technical term is squish.”

Weber also said that whatever squish is not used for the university’s deficit is used for funding reserves such as the athletic reserve.

“This year the squish is miniscule,” Weber said.

Lord also discussed international students during the meeting. He said that this year there has been a significant increase in international students with 152 enrolled at Eastern this fall. There has only been one year before of greater enrollment of international students, Lord said.

The members of the council also discussed the alumni website which recently went online. The website is divided by categories such as entertainment, media, health, science, sports and business.

A committee was also created to help reevaluate the CUPB bylaws.

Seth Schroeder can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]