The Board of Trustees has officially announced the budget for the 2015-16 school year. The new increase of 3.5 percent for undergraduate tuition is the lowest in the past 11 years.
“We did our best to hold at lowest increase as possible,” said President Lesley Hallick.
When tuition is raised, the university also increases financial aid for all students to help alleviate the increase, which is different depending on each student’s individual financial aid situation. The net increase in tuition is an average of 2.2 percent or the average increase students will have to pay themselves.
The average discount rate for tuition at Pacific is 50 percent. This means that students generally receive enough grants and scholarships from the university to offset the cost of half of their tuition.
“This is very high relative to our [peer institutions],” said Hallick.
Hallick explained that the low net increase is indicative of what the university is trying to accomplish when it comes to decreasing the increase of tuition costs.
An increase that was proposed for the 2014-15 school year were lab, studio and Winter II costs.
“These fees proposed for this year were not implemented and not reinstated,” said Hallick.
While the undergraduate increase is most prevalent on the Forest Grove campus, all campuses and programs also see adjustments in tuition costs.
“In each case we look at the market and applicant pool and what they make they [graduate],” said Hallick.
The draft of next school year’s budget states, “We strategically froze, or even decreased, tuition rates for some key programs, including graduate-level education programs, pharmacy and athletic training, as well as programs in the School of Healthcare Administration & Leadership.”
The Board of Trustees also included the primary goals of the 2015-16 budget which includes keeping tuition increases to a minimum; continuing to invest in employees through salary increases and comparability adjustments; and funding ongoing investment opportunities and maintaining a budget to explore innovative ideas in the future.
Some upcoming projects that the new budget will help fund are upgrades to Strain, Price and Scott halls.