The University of Indianapolis released a statement on Dec. 4 that announced undergraduate tuition will increase for the 2018-2019 academic year by 3.5 percent, or $488 per semester.
This means that tuition will increase from $27,860 to $28,836 annually. UIndy President Robert Manuel said there are expenses that increase each year, such as electricity, heating and cooling, snow removal, bandwidth and insurance, that have to be considered when evaluating the costs for each year.
He also said this increase includes maintaining the standard of living of faculty and staff, including increasing their salaries.
“Each year we try to balance what we need to bring in with how we balance affordability, so students can continue to come here,” Manuel said.
The price of room and board will increase with the standard double room rate increasing by $77 a semester, or 3 percent, putting it at $5,280 annually.
Dining costs also will increase by 3 percent, and the 14-meal plan will be $5,008 annually, a $73 increase per semester.
For the 2016-2017 academic year, UIndy was the second-lowest private institution in Indiana, according to a cost comparison provided by Manuel. He said that without factoring in the changes other universities likely will make to tuition, UIndy’s increase would be estimated at around $500 above the cost of the University of St. Francis, making UIndy the third-lowest priced. However, Manuel does expect all private institutions to raise their tuition.
“There’s not a lot of variability in who’s going to do what up and down that scale, and I doubt anybody would hold flat or cut tuition,” Manuel said. “So we’re likely going to remain the second most affordable private institution in the state of Indiana as a result of these numbers.”
Senior political science major and President of Indianapolis Student Government Jason Marshall said he thinks the increase will be one of the smallest in Indiana for private schools and thinks that UIndy still will be affordable.
“If you look at schools across the country, UIndy is one of the top growing schools in the country. A lot of schools right now are losing enrollment, and UIndy is still growing,” Marshall said. “So it’s awesome. The administration is doing something right….I don’t think it’s going to have that big of a negative effect on students. I know that’s hard to say when you look at dollar amounts. But if you also compare that to the financial aid that’s growing”
Manuel said the university saw a greater need for financial aid, so UIndy will increase the financial aid it gives through grants and scholarships by $4 million.
“One of the most important parts is, even though the tuition is going up, so is the dollars that we’re going to give to financial aid,” Manuel said. “So part of what we do is we try to peak the revenue that comes in from tuition and offer it back to our students through scholarships, and that $52 million is our money that goes out as grants and scholarships to the incoming students.”
Fees will range from $256 per semester for a part-time undergraduate student to $426 per semester for full-time undergraduate students. Manuel said that although it looks like fees increased by about $200, the university eliminated most course-specific fees, common in applied courses like nursing and biology.
“I see the money going to the right things, the right student programs, the low student to faculty ratio, the services that they’re providing, you know, if you look at the new health clinic that’s coming in, the Perk options, new dining services which are much better starting this year,” Marshall said. “So I think the money is being put in the right spot and so I think the school is doing a good job with that.”