Public forum precedes board action on recommended hikes for tuition and fees

Topic: Administrative

April 30, 2007

Ball State President Jo Ann M. Gora and other senior university administrators will hold a public forum beginning at noon on May 10 to provide information on factors affecting the university's upcoming budget and the setting of student fees.

The hearing in the Forum Room of Ball State's Pittenger Student Center will allow members of the public to comment on proposed student fee increases for the academic years 2007-08 and 2008-09.

This year, the university also will set student fees for its five- and 10-week summer terms in 2009.

The Pittenger Student Center is located at the intersection of McKinley and West University avenues on the Ball State campus. The Forum Room is on the second floor. Visitor parking is available in the garage behind the building.

On April 29, the Indiana General Assembly passed a new two-year state budget that includes appropriations for Ball State and gives university administrators the information necessary to prepare a new fee structure for the next four semesters.

The university's board of trustees will consider final action on the proposal on May 14 after reviewing comments from the May 10 public forum.

Under the administration's plan, tuition for in-state students would rise by 4.9 percent in each of the next two years. For Indiana residents who enrolled before summer 2003, that means tuition costs of $2,734 per semester for 2007-08 and $2,868 per semester for 2008-09, increases of $129 and $134, respectively, from current levels.

Tuition for in-state students enrolled after summer 2003 would be $3,336 per semester for 2007-08 and $3,500 per semester for 2008-09, increases of $156 and $164, respectively.

The proposal also increases tuition for non-Indiana students by 6 percent during the same two-year period, meaning out-of-state students enrolled before summer 2003 would pay $8,236 per semester for 2007-08 and $8,730 per semester for 2008-09, up $466 and $494, respectively.

Fees for out-of-state students enrolled after summer 2003 would be $8,870 per semester for 2007-08 and $9,402 per semester for 2008-09, increases of $502 and $532.

Gora said university leaders have worked diligently to develop a budget that maintains affordability while ensuring adequate funding for the university's many educational priorities.

"Ball State's strategic plan is the foundation of a vision that calls for improving the quality of the student body, providing meaningful immersive learning experiences for our undergraduates, continuing to build and sustain high-quality academic programs, and fostering a university community that is both vibrant and supportive," Gora said.

The budget and this fee plan are inextricably linked as we focus our use of resources on our path to becoming a more distinctive university.

"This budget funds numerous strategic plan initiatives that should help Ball State attract, retain, and graduate a more capable and diverse student body. It increases salaries in order to help attract and retain better qualified faculty and staff who will continue to redefine the educational experience at Ball State University and increase our number of nationally ranked programs."

To keep fee increases as low as possible, Gora added, university planners also have taken a hard look at other sources of funding.  Wherever possible they are targeting external funding like grants and private donations to help Ball State achieve specific strategic goals.

Also addressed in the proposal is the university's technology and student health fees for the next two years.

The technology fee would increase $7 to $163 per semester in the first year and then to $171 per semester in the second year. The student health fee, meanwhile, would increase $6 to $75 per semester in 2007-08 and to $79 per semester in 2008-09.
However, health fees assessed for the summer terms will decrease from $29, to a total of $40, in the first year of the new budget, before rising marginally again, to $42, next year. 

On-campus course fees ($2.00 per 100 and 200 level courses and $4.00 per 300 and 400 level courses) will remain unchanged.

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