Ball State announces public forum, proposed tuition and mandatory fee increases

Topic: Administrative

May 21, 2011

Ball State University will hold a public hearing concerning its proposed tuition and mandatory fee rate increases on Tuesday, May 31, 2011, at 11 a.m. in the Forum Room of the L.A. Pittenger Student Center.

This hearing will provide the public the opportunity to comment on proposed student tuition and mandatory fee increases for the academic years 2011-12 and 2012-13. The subject of the public hearing is the proposal to increase student tuition and mandatory fees by 3.9 percent for the 2011-12 academic year and additional 4.9 percent for the 2012-13 academic year. It will be presented to the Board of Trustees during its June meeting.

The proposed total increase in 2011-12 would be $162 per semester for a full-time resident undergraduate student taking 12 to 18 credit hours. The following year, 2012-13, the proposed increase would be $211 per semester. The current 2010-11 resident undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees are $8,234 per year. The proposed tuition and mandatory fees would be $8,558 in 2011-12 and $8,980 in 2012-13.

The revenue raised by the proposed increase is necessary to fund the university's operating budget.

Coordinated with the announcement of the forum and proposed tuition, Randy Howard, vice president for business affairs and treasurer, issued the following statement:

I believe this is the right decision for our students and the university. Our mission is to provide an education that prepares them to succeed in a rapidly changing economy. The proposal strikes the delicate balance between the affordability of a Ball State education and the quality of a Ball State degree. Ball State has made tremendous progress on our strategic plan and on educational goals important to the state of Indiana. The quality of our students is increasing. Immersive learning opportunities are providing students highly relevant learning experiences. And, among public research universities, we have achieved the sixth highest improvement in graduation rates in the country. We have the highest enrollment on record and demand for a Ball State education continues to climb. 

We are very appreciative of the efforts of the General Assembly and its leadership this biennium.  They have been very supportive of the university's strategic plan and our successes, and we realize they had to make tough funding decisions in a very challenging environment.

Yet even with their support, we face a 5.2 percent reduction in state operating appropriations next year and no funds for building repair and maintenance over the biennium.  Our state operating appropriation in 2012 will set us back to appropriation levels a decade ago, in 2002.   In the five year period from 2007 to 2012 alone, our state operating appropriations per student will have decreased more than 11 percent.

One of our greatest challenges is that, when compared to our peers, we are already very efficient in staffing, health care, salaries and energy consumption — our largest budget items.  We will continue to seek out budget reductions, find efficiencies and save real dollars.  However, these savings alone will not be enough to offset declines in state support, counter the effects of ordinary inflation and meet critical facility maintenance and repairs. All the while, we must continue to fund strategic priorities that will ensure the competitiveness of our graduates.

We understand that any price increase will put further stress on Hoosier families.  As we have each year, we intend to grow institutional financial aid and work study programs at a rate higher than the increase in tuition. This will ensure Ball State remains a viable option for bright and curious students.

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