Tuition, housing costs to rise next year

Editor’s Note: This story was updated March 29 at 1:29 a.m.

Tuition and housing costs will increase by more than 4 percent next year for Butler University students.

Tuition will go up from $29,740 to $31,110 a year. Room and board rates will also reflect the 4.6 percent increase.

In a letter to students, University President Bobby Fong addressed issues the university and the Board of Trustees faced when deciding the costs for next year.

“This rate attempts to balance needs at the University with an economic recovery that has yet to benefit some families with students at Butler,” Fong said.

Increases in tuition are market-driven, Vice President for Finance Bruce Arick said.

“We look at competitors and see where they are at with their tuition, and the history of how much they have increased in the past,” Arick said.

Compared to the other private universities and colleges in Indiana, the increase in tuition costs for Butler students has fallen below the state average eight out of the ten past academic years.

Fong said the increase is necessary to maintain “the Butler educational experience.”

“In these challenging times, the board and administrative leadership have sought to be prudent financially while ensuring the quality of education that is the most important reason why students and their parents entrust their futures to Butler,” Fong said.

Currently, two-thirds of Butler students are on need-based financial aid.

While Arick said that the increase in tuition every year does not result in many problems, there are students unable to manage the increase and they withdraw from the University.

“If the increase does present a challenge, students should know that Financial Aid will do anything they can do to help,” Arick said.

Tuition covers roughly 80 percent of the university’s expenses, while the remaining 20 percent comes from endowments, donations and fundraising, Fong said.

Arick said that the tuition would be unrealistic if tuition was indeed cost-driven.

“Expenses get higher and higher each year,” Arick said. “Tuition would be much higher if it was solely cost-driven.”

Fong went on to say that 960 of this year’s 9,000 applicants would be accepted into the university to stay on target with admitting a class of less than 1,000 freshmen.

The lower increase in tuition for academic year 2010-11 can not be contributed to enrollment, Arick said.

“We based our increases last year off of where we thought our competitors would be,” Arick said. “We felt that they were going to be lower as well, so we were where we wanted to be.”