Tuition, financial aid set to increase in fall semester

The Board of Trustees voted Friday to increase tuition for the 2008-2009 academic school year.Chancellor Victor Boschini said tuition costs will escalate 8.4 percent, making the overall tuition for undergraduates $26,900, a $2,040 increase from this year.

Boschini said along with tuition increasing, the board approved an 18 percent increase in financial aid.

Don Mills, vice chancellor for student affairs, said he believes the increase in financial aid will be most important to students.

Mills also said the financial aid increase was going to be significant because it was more than twice the increase from last year. However, he said, he didn’t know exactly how that 18 percent would be distributed.

“That 18 includes both need-based financial aid scholarships and academic scholarships,” Mills said. “That doesn’t mean every award will be 18 percent, it just means the total financial aid money will increase.”

Jace Thompson, student body president, said the increase in financial aid doesn’t make up for the steady increase in tuition.

“I’m concerned TCU will out-price prospective students in the future years if tuition rates continue to beat out inflation rates,” Thompson said.

Boschini said he understands raising tuition will affect different students but hopes the increase in financial aid will show students TCU is trying to help.

“My commitment is if any student feels like they can’t afford the extra amount, come into financial aid, and we’ll reassess your financial packet and if you have needs we’ll definitely make sure you come back next semester,” Boschini said. “That’s what that 18 percent is for.”

As for the steadily increasing tuition, Boschini said, the board considers it every year and students can expect tuition hikes to continue.

Boschini said tuition increases because of faculty and staff expenses, rising insurance and health care costs, and utility costs.

Mills agreed.

“We have 1,700 and some employees at TCU, so as healthcare costs and energy costs rise, it has an impact on us directly,” Mills said.

Nate Arnold, Student Government Association treasurer, said he understands why the tuition must increase, but it still makes him feel uneasy.

“It’s one of those things that makes you feel sad inside because it is something student body leaders try to work on every year,” Arnold said. “But at the same time, nobody will show up at the chancellor’s office with pitchforks because you know you’re getting quality for your money.”

Programming Council Chair Kristen Chapman agreed.

“I understand why we need to increase the money to keep the wonderful services we have, but I think we can compromise,” Chapman said.

Boschini said raising tuition is never easy.

“We think you’re getting what you paid for, but I would encourage any student who disagrees to make their voice known,” Boschini said. “I always agonize over this, we look at every which way to do this, but the problem is compromising. We could drastically cut services but I don’t think anybody is for that.