University tuition fees increase 7 percent
Published: Thursday, September 1, 2011
Updated: Thursday, September 1, 2011 03:09
Freshman Katie Hutschenreuter said she chose to attend the university for its cheerleading opportunities and for the scholarships which she was offered, instead of going to the University of Maryland, her state school.
However, after July's increase in tuition for the 2011-2012 academic year, Hutschenreuter's cheerleading and academic-based merit scholarships do not carry as much monetary weight as they did before.
"While my scholarships brought the price down, it is not fair for tuition to increase each year," Hutschenreuter said.
Tuition for in-state undergraduate students increased $630, or 7 percent, for the 2011-2012 academic year, according to university officials. Out-of-state students will pay an additional $1,700, also a 7 percent increase.
During the last academic year, in-state students paid $9,040 in tuition, while out-of-state students paid $24,240. Tuition for the 2011-2012 academic year will be $9,670 for in-state students and $25,940 for out-of state students, with this summer's increases.
According to university spokesman David Brond, changes in tuition are determined by senior administrators at the university, who consider multiple factors, such as the state budget, the university's revenue and expenses, the size of the incoming freshman class and tuition rates at comparable institutions. Revenue from tuition is spread across various aspects of university life and operations.
"The increase in tuition helps fund contracted raises for professors, and we have great faculty at UD which come at an appropriate price," Brond said. "It also goes to utility expenses, green programs, more faculty and more space."
Brond said current students pay for programs and services that he said will improve the university in the future, which he expects they could be proud of as alumni.
Approximately 13 percent of the increase is necessary to cover the rising costs of demand for financial aid among university students, according to a university statement.
However, Melissa Stone, director of Student Financial Services, said there is not necessarily a direct correlation between tuition increases and requests for financial aid because there are other components to consider, such as the university's Commitment to Delawareans program, individual students' financial needs and loan eligibility.
"The federal government gave us a little more for financial aid this year so the increase in tuition is coincidentally related," Stone said. "But a large class size does mean greater demand."
According to the university's undergraduate admissions profile, the class of 2015 is 3,959 students. In comparison, the class of 2014 consisted of 3,418 students.
Sophomore Alexandra Chickadel, of Wilmington, said she applied for more loans after hearing about the tuition increase.
"The problem is that loan interest is so high and could end up even higher by the time I graduate," Chickadel said. "It almost seems easier to struggle now and pay loans off now rather than later. but I will stay here because if I went anywhere else, it would be more expensive. It's just so much money."
Although the original statement released by university officials offered comparisons to 12 schools they cited as comparable institutions, the top five most expensive schools on the list, which included Lehigh University, University of Notre Dame, Boston College, Brown University and Carnegie Mellon University, are all private institutions. While the university is a privately chartered institution, it does receive state funds and is recognized as a state school.
Junior Josh Krinsky of East Brunswick, N.J. said the university's tuition has become too expensive and he considers himself lucky because he only has one year left.
"It sucks," Krinsky said. "It should stay the same for every class so the class of 2010 should pay the 2010 price, the class of 2011 should pay the 2011 price, so every class agrees to pay a cap price."
Brond said setting a cap price is not economically feasible.
"We cannot predict the future and it is difficult to say today that we know what the world will be like three years from now," Brond said.