OPINION | Tuition numbers are deceiving

Butler once again increased its tuition, but in reality most students are paying a similar price.
Many students do not realize two things about financial aid. Most of the $52.3-million financial aid budget does not actually exist, and the 3.75 percent hike in tuition will not affect students as badly as they might think.
The largest portion of the financial aid budget comes from discounted tuition, said Melissa Smurdon, fiancial aid director.
What this means is that a student who has $15,000 in scholarship will have this reduced from his or her tuition instead of having that money come out of  an actual financial aid budget.
If this budget is physically nonexistent, then where does all the money generated from donations go? Most of that money goes toward specific Butler issued scholarships.
Financial aid does not increase dollar for dollar with tuition, but aid is based on a percentage. This is why students will still feel the effects of the tuition increase, but not to the degree most think.
The percentage is related to the projected number of students expected to be enrolled at Butler, Smurdon said.
The 2013-14 budget will be $2.2 million more than the budget from this academic year.
Not all students are eligible to receive financial aid. Some students who are eligible might opt not to use it.
Butler students bring in $10 million in scholarships outside of Butler.
Looking at the glass half full, yes, everyone’s tuition will increase, but not at the rate one would think based on raw numbers.

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