Student senate hears about potential tuition increase

Zac+Cohen%2C+the+student+vice+president+of+student+affairs%2C+gives+a+presentation+during+a+Student+Senate+meeting+Wednesday+night+on+the+approved+Apportionment+Board+bills+that+allocated+the+funds+for+the+student+government%2C+University+Board+and+Student+Recreation+Center+budgets+for+next+year.

Analicia Haynes

Zac Cohen, the student vice president of student affairs, gives a presentation during a Student Senate meeting Wednesday night on the approved Apportionment Board bills that allocated the funds for the student government, University Board and Student Recreation Center budgets for next year.

Analicia Haynes, Managing Editor

A potential tuition increase was introduced to the Student Senate Wednesday night.

Paul McCann, the interim vice president of business affairs, said incoming freshman, transfers and potentially graduate students can expect to see anywhere from a zero to 2 percent increase in tuition for FY 2018-2019.

“Most likely we’ll see a one or a one and a half increase,” he said.

A 1 percent tuition increase could mean an additional $200,000 for the university, which means about $3 per credit hour or around $45 for a full-time student per semester, he said.

The university already increased tuition for FY 17-18 and 16-17 each by 1 percent and increased the room and board rate by one and a half percent for FY 17-18.

“No matter what we do, we’re still going to be on the lower end of the total cost of tuition (in the state),” he said.

McCann said when the university looks at tuition increases they compare the current tuition rate and changes to it to that of other competitors as well as what Springfield is doing, or not doing.

He said for FY 18-19 the university is anticipating some salary increases and pay raises.

“We’ve already entered into a number of contracts with the unions. So far those have amounted to about a 1 percent increase through those groups. We still have the faculty union to resolve, the police union. Although we reached a tentative agreement it has not been approved with (the Board of Trustees),” he said.

Another factor McCann said the university is considering when it comes to the decision on a tuition increase is the non-negotiated civil service employees, who have not seen a pay increase in over five years.

“We’re looking at all those factors and trying to come up with a reasonable tuition increase for FY 18-19,” he said.

McCann said the increase would be inevitable, regardless of the projected increase in student enrollment for next year, because of a high inflation rate.

“We need to look at some type of enrollment (or tuition) increase. The inflation rate is about two percent and our costs continue to go up. We need to do something,” he said. “We know costs are going up. If inflation goes up 2 percent do we want to be at inflation or are we OK to be below it? We’re trying to make sure the operating budget isn’t hurt too much.”

Though a decision has not been reached regarding the increase, McCann said he anticipates that something needs to be brought to the Board of Trustees at its April meeting.

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]