This archived article was written by: Karli Morris
While the meeting is called Truth in Tuition, it is really more like “best estimate about tuition” because final numbers have not yet been approved.
Utah State University Eastern has the lowest percentage of the total amount needed to run the institution provided through tuition with 20.70 percent and 79.30 percent coming from state appropriations.
In both, residential, in state and non-residential, out-of-state costs for the past year, USU Eastern boasts the lowest tuition costs. With in-state tuition at $1,535, Eastern comes in $8 under Snow College and out of state at $2,845, Eastern comes in $2,161 under Salt Lake Community College.
There are two areas of possible increase when it comes to higher education, tier one and tier two. Tier one is set by the Utah Board of Regents and is likely to be between a four-and-five-percent increase. That would increase tuition by $65.50 for fall 2013, raising tuition from $1,310 to $1,375.50 for residents. For non-residents, tuition will also increase five percent for a total of $131, raising tuition from $2,620 to $2,751. Part of tier two also includes a possibility of a one percent increase in salary for faculty and staff of USU Eastern, but will likely not change.
Tier two is set by the college according to its needs and is yet to be decided.
Since 2011, tuition at Eastern has been declining as enrollment has been declining. The total amount of revenue from tuition is estimated to decrease by about $400 thousand. To compensate for the loss of funds, the college has proposed that the cosmetology program be cut from Eastern. There will also be a $10 increase to student fees and other funds will be reallocated and it is proposed that a quarter of a million dollars be cut from the salaries of the administration as a possible restructuring of administration takes place on campus. Brad Kind, vice chancellor – administration and advancement is retiring June 30 and Greg Benson, vice chancellor – academic affairs and student services, resigned his position to accept a position at the Board of Regents.
There are reasons for both optimism and pessimism for the future of Eastern. According to CNN Money Eastern is ranked in the top three in the nation for completion and success. There has also been a significant increase in applications to Eastern. By Feb. 14, 2013 1,000 applications were received for next fall. However, the age change for LDS missionaries poses a new problem. Of the 1,000 applicants, 50 percent said they will not be attending Eastern in fall 2013 and when asked if it because they have chosen to attend another school, nearly 100 percent said no, but that they would be serving missions, both males and females.
Eastern also lacks curb appeal that is hoped to be remedied with the new Central Instruction Building that was recently denied by the legislature, but will still be worked towards with the $500 thousand in planning money given by the legislature.