Troy University sees 9 percent tuition jump

Published 8:15 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Troy University students will dole out a little extra cash for tuition for the 2011-2012 school year due to a 9 percent increase in tuition and fees.

Jim Bookout, senior vice chancellor for finance and business affairs, said the tuition increases are essential and the reason for the increases has to do with a reduction in state appropriations.
“These funds are recurring dollars appropriated to support operations and maintenance costs of the university,” Bookout said.

“State appropriations have increased every year from the approximate $37 million in 1997 until 2008 when we received $62 million. Appropriations for the last three years and 2012 have decreased to a projected $46 million.”

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Because of the reduction in state appropriations, Bookout said the “recurring dollars” must be recovered and/or expenses reduced.

Bookout said that in 2009 Troy University implemented a cost reduction strategy, which included: reducing the operating budget by 10 percent each year, freezing all vacant positions, suspending the creation of new positions, reducing travel expenses and eliminating small class sizes through consolidation.

“Concomitant to cost reduction is the increase of revenue from all sources to include increased enrollment, parking fees, housing fees, dining fees, general fees and tuition,” Bookout said.

“The cost savings combined with additional revenue serves to offset the reduction in state appropriations.”

Even with a 9 percent increase in tuition, Bookout said he doesn’t expect student enrollment to dwindle.

“Tuition increases typically do not negatively affect enrollment and every institution in the state increases tuition to some extent when there is a decrease in state appropriations,” Bookout said.

“During a period of economic decline stemming from high unemployment, higher education in general realizes an increase in enrollment due to people using the period to further their education in order to increase their marketability and employment potential.

“However, when the economic decline is based on a number of variables such as high unemployment, limited borrowing capability from banks, and a real estate market that has essentially bottomed out, enrollment trends flatten out. During such an economic distress it is critical that Federal grant programs such as Pell and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant remain adequately funded due to the increased number of people who can qualify for financial aid, as a result of unemployment.”

The 2011-2012 cost for tuition and fees per credit hour for undergraduate-level classes is $235 and $290 for graduate-level classes.

For one semester, an in-state incoming freshman attending Troy University full time will spend approximately $2,820, books, room and board, and meal plans not included.

For comparison, Auburn University students will dole out $8,698 per semester for the upcoming 2011-2012 school year, not including books, room and board or meal plans and students at the University of Alabama will pay approximately $7,900 per semester for the 2011-2012 school year, not including the extra expenditures.