TCU’s tuition will increase by 5.8 percent for the 2013-2014 academic year, according to a campus-wide email from Chancellor Victor Boschini sent Monday morning.
The current 2012-2013 tuition price tag, $34,500, will bump up to $36,500. This is the the second-lowest hike since the 2001-2002 academic year, according to TCU 360 archives.
The board discussed an original proposal of a 5 percent increase with Intercom members Thursday morning, but decided to add 0.8 percent to the total increase. The extra 0.8 percent increase, a member of the board said, was necessary to ensure a larger amount would be provided to the 70 percent of students who receive financial aid of some sort.
Board discusses tuition increases
A board member said the board recognized the challenge for students whose majors tend to have a lower salary rate, such as education and ranch management.
Jan Ramsey, an Alumni Association representative, said the board considered carefully what was best for students’ education and the future campus developments when making the decision.
A board member reiterated that he understood students pay “real money” to attend the university. He said they would like to use that money to increase the value of students’ degrees once they graduate.
Board members compared the increase to other schools including Southern Methodist University. They said Baylor might also increase its tuition in the future.
Kathy Cavins-Tull, vice chancellor for student affairs, compared the university’s accessibility to California schools. Students struggle to be admitted to those schools and often have trouble finding the money to pay for them.
Cavins-Tull said the board discussed students’ suggestion for more financial aid after members of Intercom expressed their concerns Thursday.
Senior Intercom representative Will Hopper said he appreciated the board’s vision to model the university’s educational value after schools such as Baylor, Tulane and Vanderbilt. He said he looked forward to the changes board has invested in, including the additions to the Intellectual Commons.
A call for transparency
Last November, students formed a group in reaction to the then-6.5 percent tuition increase, calling their movement “Occupy Sadler,” inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement September 2011.
According to a November 2011 TCU 360 article, about 50 student protesters stood outside Sadler Hall demanding answers from Boschini about the increase.
Students involved advocated for a “grandfather” clause to lock the tuition rate throughout one’s college career, as well as increasing merit-based scholarships to match the rising costs.
Occupy Sadler’s appointed leader, junior Michael Millican, said in the article that he and the group were mostly seeking more transparency from Boschini and other faculty members about the tuition process.
In response to last year’s unrest, Boschini held a town hall style meeting Tuesday, Nov. 6 to break down funding from an expected tuition increase. The meeting was only attended by two student reporters, Student Body President Brent Folan and a handful of staff members. Boschini also spoke at a Student Government Association meeting to explain where funds are spent.
Tuition throughout the years
Currently, a fourth-year student graduating in May will have withstood a 17.7 percent total increase in tuition since enrolling in fall 2009. Fifth-year students graduating in May will have experienced a 25.7 percent increase.
For perspective, the tuition rate for the 2001-2002 academic year was $15,040. That number has more than doubled as current and incoming students face the new $36,500 price tag.
Boschini noted in the town hall meeting on Tuesday that while tuition is steadily increasing, there is more financial aid available to students. According to his email, institutional financial aid, which includes need-based aid and new merit-aid scholarships for incoming students, will increase by 7.5 percent, or approximately $7 million.
Merit-based scholarships had once increased proportionally, according to Skiff archives. In an email from Boschini to the student body in 2009, he noted that financial aid was increased by the same percentage as the tuition increase. At the time, the 6.2 percent tuition increase translated to $620 increase in financial aid.
Here's a look at the tuition increases from the last 13 years: