University of Indianapolis students will see a 3.9 percent increase in tuition for the 2016-2017 academic year, but they also will see that money invested back into their collegiate careers.
A campus-wide email sent on Feb. 5 included a letter from President Robert Manuel announcing that the full-time tuition rate would increase from $25,910 to $26,920. In addition, the standard residence room rate will increase from $4,740 to $4,928, and the 14 meal plan will increase from $4,594 to $4,720. Summer session tuition will remain the same at $295 per credit hour.
According to Manuel, the decision to keep the summer rate constant was an easy one, because the university would like to see more students enroll in the summer program to advance toward their four-year degree.
The academic year tuition increase is the result of the increased costs of mandatory operating expenses.
“Very little operating expenses are covered by endowment,” Manuel said. “Things like heating and air conditioning, improved security in buildings—like cameras and keys—and healthcare and insurance for faculty and staff are some of our necessities. And those things never get cheaper.”
Most of the increases in operating expenses come from the salaries of the faculty and staff. Executive Vice President for Campus Affairs and Enrollment Services Mark Weigand said that the university works hard to find a way to please the majority.
“We currently hold a student-faculty ratio of 11:1, which is something we are very proud of,” he said. “In order to keep that, we have to be able to increase salaries to keep faculty. We are conscious of the students and wanting them to achieve, but we also have to compete for faculty, so it is a balancing act.”
Even with all the necessary expenses, Manuel said that the university strives to be a “good steward” and prioritizes the students. Forty cents of every dollar goes back to the students through scholarships and academic services.
According to Manuel, students will be able to see how the money is going back to the students when they receive their financial aid information in the coming months.
“We are, and want to be, mindful of the students’ indebtness to the university, but also [want to] provide them with all the resources we can,” Manuel said. “I think we have found a good mix of that.”
As mentioned in the campus-wide email, students are strongly urged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid by March 10. Students can find links to applications at uindy.edu/financial-aid.