The Board of Trustees increased tuition for the 2010-11 academic year by 4.25 percent from $37,870 to $39,480.
The most common room and board package will increase 3.93 percent from $11,200 to $11,640 for undergraduates, marking the second year in a row that UR has seen a tuition increase, despite little to negative inflation.
‘While the [Consumer Price Index] may not be rising, a number of our costs are,” Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer Ron Paprocki said. ‘We also need to continue to invest in order to provide the kinds of programs and services that our students and parents have come to expect. The challenge for us is to identify ways to contain costs while preserving and strengthening core academic programs.”
Paprocki cited the increase as going toward a modest increase in staff salary, which has been frozen over the past year, among other projects, all benefiting from this tuition increase.
‘Even in this economy, our faculty is being sought by other institutions, and it is important for us to retain them,” Paprocki said. ‘There are some faculty vacancies that need to be filled and some hiring in areas of high student demand. Benefit costs are also increasing.”
Building repairs, replacements and classroom improvements were also reasons cited for the increase in the next academic year’s tuition.
Compared to last year’s increase tuition say a year over year of 0.25 percent.
The most common room and board plan has also increased by 0.33 percent more than the previous year.
Last year it was reported that over $7 million in additional financial aid packages would be
allocated to students, while this year financial aid funds will be raised $3.5 million for a total of $75 million.
“In the coming year, we are reducing aid spent on merit scholarships, but the aid will go toward both need-based and merit scholarships,” Burdick said. ‘We put much more money into financial aid last year to assist parents and families at the beginning of the dramatic financial crisis. Those dollars awarded to students will follow them from year to year and they aren’t going away. The $3.5 million will affect the incoming freshman class only.”
The optional student health insurance plan will also see some changes this year, with the plan adding prescription drug coverage for the coming year. The price of the plan will also decrease for the second year in a row.
‘[The decrease] has been possible because of operating efficiencies associated with the new UHS Building on River Campus,” Ralph Manchester, director of University Health Service said. ‘These savings helped to partially offset the increase in the University sponsored health insurance plan.”
The carrier for the health insurance will be Aetna Student Health, which offers coverage for student care even when the student travels outside of the Rochester area, which was an important factor for the UR population, which culls students from all over the country.
However, UR undergrads have mixed feelings about the tuition increases.
‘I understand where they’re coming from but I think they should come up with alternative ways of balancing the budget other than increasing tuition,” junior Ty Chu said.
Others expressed their discontent with their daily life conditions on campus, especially in regard to the new increases to next year’s tuition.
‘As someone who doesn’t pay close attention to the finances of the University, it is still annoying when we see bathrooms without paper towels, the inability to Club certain foods and other small matters like this while the University continues to raise tuition,” sophomore Josh Warhit said.
But all students were not as pessimistic about the increase.
‘Of course it sucks, because who wants to pay more money?” sophomore Tamar Negri said. ‘But of course in this economy measures like these must be made in order for the university to continue to thrive.”
But, while student reaction may be mixed, the faculty response which was represented by UR President Joel Seligman was quick to defend the raise.
‘We have vigorously controlled our expenditures while increasing financial aid for our students during a challenging time,” Seligman said.
Clark and Radovani are members of the class of 2012.