The price tag for TCU will jump 5.5 percent for the 2014-15 year, after the Board of Trustees voted to set tuition at $38,510.
The increase of about $2,000 is slightly lower than last year’s 5.8 percent hike.
Chancellor Victor Boschini wrote in an email that financial aid would increase by 10 percent, or approximately $10 million.
For next year, the increase would not just affect need-based scholarships but merit-based scholarships as well.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Kathy Cavins-Tull said 4 percent of the 5.5 percent increase would go toward operating costs and expenditures. She said the increase met the board’s threshold for keeping up with the cost of running the university.
The rest of the increase would go toward strategic initiatives for scholarships and other instruction costs, she said. However, she didn’t go into detail about the strategic initiatives.
The tuition vote came at the end of two days of meetings for trustees.
Members were present along with members of Intercom, a group comprised of various campus organization student leaders.
Trustee Jan Scully said the board did not take the decision to raise tuition “lightly.”
Board members considered internal and external factors, including university expenditures and employee benefits. They also looked at the tuition for competitor schools such as Baylor and Southern Methodist University.
Baylor has increased its tuition by 5.85 percent to $34,480 for the 2014-2015 academic year while SMU’s tuition for the 2013-014 year is $38,870.
Tulane, another competitor school, currently has a sticker price of $46,930 while Vanderbilt tuition for the 2013-2014 academic year was $41,928.
In previous years, TCU students have objected to tuition hikes with the protests of 2011 leading to the Chancellor holding town hall meetings so students could discuss concerns.
However, both of the town hall meetings, one in October and one in November, were poorly attended by students. Cavins-Tull said this was why she wanted to go over the reasoning behind the tuition increase to Intercom members so they could go to their respective constituencies to explain.
“It doesn’t look like people care until the news is delivered,” she said.
Intercom members will look at the same charts, facts and figures the board saw when considering raising tuition, she said.
And for the student body, tuition has proven to be an issue as it has risen year after year.
When the class of 2014 entered TCU four years ago tuition was $30,000. Since then, it has risen more than 28 percent.
Nationally, the average tuition for a private, nonprofit four-year college is $30,094 for the 2013-2014 academic year, according to a report by CollegeBoard.com.
The university’s price tag has also risen more quickly over a decade than its national counterparts. The average tuition nationally for a private four-year college, according to the CollegeBoard report, in the 2003-2004 academic year was $24,071 while TCU’s price tag was $17,590.
This is a nearly 25 percent increase nationally and a nearly 120 percent rise for the university in a decade.
Here’s a look at the tuition increases from the last 14 years:
This story was updated on Friday, Nov. 8 at 6:25 p.m.