Preliminary figures for next year’s tuition suggest it will increase about 6 percent and room and board will increase about 4 percent.
This is about the same amount it increases each year, Vice President for Student Affairs Alan Galsky said.
“It’s usually anywhere from 5 to 6.5 or 7 percent,” he said. “Room and board’s going to be in the neighborhood of 3 to 4 percent.”
The Board of Trustees will vote on these numbers in April, but Vice President for Business Affairs Gary Anna said he doesn’t expect them to change much.
“It’s fair to say they may change, but they would only change very marginally,” he said. “I would be quite surprised if they were to change more than one-quarter or one-half percent.”
The increases will bump up last year’s tuition from $22,600 to $23,950 and room and board from $7,350 to $7,650.
Tuition increases each year because of inflation and campus needs, Anna said.
“There are some inflation needs,” he said. “But we’ve added space to the campus. It’s been a cold January, and we’re heating our buildings, and it’s going up just like your parents’ and friends’ [bills].”
Anna said cost of tuition hasn’t increased because of the 15-year plan yet, but he can’t predict if the plan will impact it in the future.
“When the value of a Bradley University education improves, you might expect the increase to go with that,” he said. “It costs more to heat Markin than it did Haussler.”
Anna said tuition increases and financial aid increases go hand-in-hand.
“For every dollar of tuition, 30 cents goes into financial aid, so that equates to a little over a 4 percent increase,” he said.
Galsky said the economy affected decisions for next year’s cost.
“Because the economy is so challenging to everyone, we didn’t think of increasing it beyond our normal 6 or 7 percent,” he said.
Anna also said there may be inflation coming later in the year, which would put the university at a disadvantage if it did not increase its prices.
Freshman mechanical engineering major Veronika Wojakowska said she thinks administrators should have tried to lessen the increases.
“I would say because the economy is down, they shouldn’t have raised the prices, because people are going to have a harder time paying for things,” she said.
Galsky said administrators decide the initial cost after evaluating campus needs and the economy. Upon deciding a price, they take the numbers to the Finance Committee, and then Anna takes them to the Board of Trustees.
“[The Board of Trustees] will make a decision as to what makes sense at the time,” he said. “One of the reasons we needed to know the [preliminary] numbers by the end of January is we send out our financial award letters by the end of this week.”
Anna said although academic scholarships are not set to increase, it is something administrators have talked about.
“Students who have certain academic credentials were also sent clear signals [their scholarships] might not increase,” he said. “If our change in price or their change would result in personal financial need, we would have a trigger response to that. We don’t want to financially disadvantage any student.”
Wojakowska said she thinks scholarships should increase the same percent tuition does.
“I think it’s bad, because that’s probably one of the reasons students decided to come here – because of the amount of money they were getting,” she said.