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The University News

The Student News Site of Saint Louis University

The University News

The Student News Site of Saint Louis University

The University News

Tuition, housing increases set for 02-03

Undergraduate tuition rates will increase 5.95 percent next year, raising undergraduate tuition $1,170.

With the increase, undergraduate tuition will surpass the $20,000 mark, reaching $20,840.

Graduate and professional students will also see increased tuition. Graduate students tuition will raise 4.5 percent from $630 to $660 per credit hour. Law school students will pay $24,510, an increase of 5.2 percent from $23,300. Medical students will see an increase of 4.5 percent from $33,300 to $34,800. Full-time Masters of Business Administration students will also see a 4.5 percent increase to $25,500. Masters in Social Work courses will increase $25 per credit hour, while School of Professional Studies courses will increase $20 per credit hour.

“We got our expenses as low as we could possibly go without losing the faculty and staff that we must have to have a good program,” explained Provost Sandra Johnson.

The 5.95 percent increase is the smallest increase in more than a decade. During the last 10 years, the average increase in undergraduate tuition has been 7.7 percent.

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“Our goal was to get [the tuition increase] as low as we could get it,” Johnson said.

Throughout last semester, members of the President’s Coordinating Council met to determine the 2002-2003 budget. This is the first part of the budgeting process, with the more specific college and department budgets determined from these figures.

During their meetings, PCC members heard various presentations from divisions and departments across the University, detailing their respective budgets. Working from a master spreadsheet, the PCC was able to shift numbers around in order to create the $221 million budget.

“We have an obligation to have a balanced budget,” Johnson said.

Student Government President Mike Cappel represented the students in the PCC meetings. “It was surprising to me that the PCC really did work hard to keep tuition down,” Cappel said.

Johnson outlined several factors that affected the budget this year.

Fringe benefits-health insurance, retirement packages and tuition remissions-claimed more than 30 percent of the total budget, up 1.5 percent this year.

University insurance rates-casualty, aviation and property-increased dramatically after Sept. 11, said Johnson. For example, the aviation insurer used by SLU is also the insurer of American and United airlines.

Johnson also noted that the University endowment has not performed as well as it has in the past due to current economic trends. Vice President of Business and Finance Rob Altholz explained that the University calculates the budget contribution from the endowment by taking the average market value of the last 12 quarters.

While the endowment’s contribution of $34 million this year dropped $2 million from last year, the full impact of the current recession was offset by the positive quarters in 1999, Altholz said.

Altholz added that Sept. 11 has created uncertainty about what it means for new and returning students. However, he noted that the number of applications and attendance at Marvelous Mondays has indicated a strong demand for SLU.

Housing Increases

In addition to tuition increases, housing rates will also increase. The Village Apartments housing rates will increase the most at 8.5 percent. Griesedieck Complex and Marguerite Hall housing rates will increase 8 percent. Grand Forest Apartments’ rates have yet to be determined, as the University is still considering what level of services those apartments will have. All other residence halls will increase their rates 6 percent.

For example, a double in Griesedieck Complex will now cost $3,940, an increase of $290. A quad in the Village Apartments will now cost $6,300, up $490. For a complete list of housing rates, see the above chart.

Kathy Humphrey, vice president for Student Development, explained the reasoning behind the varied increases in housing options.

Humphrey said that the Village received the highest increase in rates as it is the newest facility and costs the most. She also noted that the apartments would likely be repainted and re-carpeted this summer.

“It’s our premium facility right now,” said Humphrey. “It’s the facility everyone wants to be in.”

According to Humphrey, Griesedieck Complex and Marguerite Hall rate increases were a result of the installation of air-conditioning in both buildings. “We have to bring those up so that they pay for themselves,” she said.

Grand Forest Apartments rates are still being considered. “We have to decide if we can afford to bring it up to the same level as Marchetti,” Humphrey said, “because that will add dramatic costs to the building.”

The 6 percent increase throughout the rest of the housing system is a result of exterior and interior improvements and upkeep.

Humphrey explained, “Every year we take a look to make sure the resident halls are paying for themselves. They have to be producing some revenue to put back into the system.”

Humphrey noted that she would like to get all rates, aside from the Village, closer together.

Freshmen Class Size

With the budget approved, the target freshman class has been set. Unlike past years, the targeted number is actually a range-1,330-1,380.

That target served as an integral part of the budgeting process, so the University knows how much tuition funds to expect.

While the target is set, Provost Johnson believes the University can handle more students.

She noted that the addition of four new, 50-seat classrooms in Fitzgerald Hall has added classroom capacity.

She also pointed out that the addition of Grand Forest Apartments has alleviated much of the housing issues. With a current faculty to student ratio of 12:1; Johnson believes there are also enough faculty for a larger freshmen class.

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