Truth in tuition 2022: 2.3 to 5% increase in tuition expected

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Two proposals from UVU’s President Council are projecting to increase tuition costs for students by either 2.3% or 5% in the coming academic year.

The Student Council convened Feb. 17 to hear from Linda Makin, vice president of planning, budgeting, and finance at UVU, to start off the annual Truth in Tuition hearings. This hearing is held to discuss university finances and how UVU had performed this previous year. This hearing is also designed to receive student input on the university’s changes to tuition in the coming academic year.

“UVU leadership is committed to providing accessible, affordable, and flexible educational opportunities for students,” said Makin. “Each year as we consider tuition and fee increases, we are especially concerned about students who may be least able to afford an increase [in tuition].”

The first proposal called for either a 2.3% increase in tuition, which would increase tuition by about $69 for in-state students and $197 for out-of-state students; this would mainly be done to keep up with wage increases that would come with the cost of living adjustment. The second proposal called for a 5% increase in tuition, which would mean a $150 increase for in-state students and a $427 increase for out-of-state students. This increase would follow the COLA compensation, but would also provide a 2% raise for faculty.

Compared to other institutions, UVU’s tuition has remained competitive when it comes to affordability. Using the 2021-2022 academic year, UVU’s tuition stood at $3,005. For comparison, non-Latter-day saint students at BYU paid $6,120 (noting that at BYU, students who are Latter-day Saints paid $3,060). This is also compared to the University of Utah’s $4,626 tuition.

“UVU has low tuition compared with other four-year institutions in Utah and in the nation,” said Makin. “Many UVU students qualify for federal financial aid/or institutional scholarships. Yet, many students who may be eligible for financial aid either don’t realize these resources are available or don’t complete the FAFSA.”

During the hearing, the topic of inflation came up as how raising tuition would impact students not only dealing with rising costs but rising tuition as well. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of January 2022 inflation stood at 7.5%, which is the highest it has been since February of 1982.

“86% of UVU’s operating budget is for salaries, wages, and benefits,” said Makin. “So while we are experiencing some supply chain and inflation challenges for durable goods and supplies, competitive wages in this low unemployment and growing wage environment is the bigger challenge.”

Along with the student proposal for student fees, the President’s Council will exercise changes to their proposed tuition and fee increases. Afterward, this proposal will be sent to the Board of Trustees and then onto the Board of Higher Education.

The Board for Higher Education will be meeting at UVU on Mar. 25. Details of that meeting can be found on the board’s website.