Troy University Tuition Hike

Published 10:00 pm Friday, June 10, 2016

Tuition Hike

Troy University officials say declining state funding prompted the 4.9 percent increase in tuition for the upcoming school year.

The Troy University board of trustees approved a tuition increase of $14 per credit hour Thursday, bringing the total fee per credit hour to $301, up from $287 per credit hour in 2015-2016.

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A statement released by Troy spokesman Andrew Ellis points to declining state support, noting that the university will receive $49 million from the state in 2017, a $13 million drop from its $62 million intake in 2008.

The university also recently approved a $100 per semester facility fee to fund the new student recreation center and improvements to the Trojan Center, in addition to the usual $39 general student fee and $50 registration fee.

“University leaders have responded to this challenge by reducing expenses wherever possible without compromising services and focusing on good stewardship of the tax dollars the University receives,” Ellis said in the statement. “Unfortunately, even after a slight increase in appropriations from the state Legislature this year, an adjustment in tuition was still needed to ensure that TROY is able to offer the quality educational experience and services our students deserve.”

Dr. John Dew, senior vice chancellor of student services and administration, spoke Friday about how the decision was made.

“We look at a bunch of factors when deciding what to do about tuition,” he said. “We look at the revenue we’re going to receive from the state, we look at our own internal budgetary requirements, and enrollment numbers. We ask ourselves ‘Are we going to be able to make our budget and do everything our students expect?’”

Dew said that the board of trustees found that tuition needed to be raised to meet budget requirements.

“It’s really a small increase,” he said. “We’re focusing on undergraduate tuition. This raise does not affect tuition for graduate students or online students.”

Dew said his department has cut $1.4 million in expenses to help meet the budget requirements and that the university is cutting costs by reducing the staff of its Global Campus program for adult learners.

“The best strategy though is to see modest enrollment growth,” he said. “We don’t want to alter our position of being that perfect fit for college students who don’t want to go to a campus that’s too big or too small. But modest growth is the best way to keep costs down.”

Dew explained what the tuition increase is providing for students.

“We have to maintain a strong full-time faculty,” he said.

“We don’t want to cut any corners in terms of the academic quality and programs we provide for our students. And renovations require funding, such as the renovations at the math-science complex. Students ask where the money is going. When they walk in and see the renovated math-science complex, they’ll see the answer.”

Dew said Troy is usually one of the first state universities to announce new tuition prices, which seems to be the case this year.

Other Alabama colleges will likely raise tuition prices as well, as fees have been rising at universities across the state for several years.

According to the Auburn University website, tuition is currently set at $4,404 per semester for all full-time students taking 12 credit hours or more, with an additional $808 in student service fees.  That means Auburn University students taking 15 credit hours paid about $294 per credit hour for the 2015-2016 school year.

The University of Alabama’s tuition is set up similarly to Auburn’s in that there’s a flat fee for students taking more than 12 credit hours, but Alabama sets an upper limit at 16 credit hours. The semester tuition at Alabama for students taking 12 to 16 credit hours is set at $5,085, with course fees averaging $400 per semester. Any students taking over 16 credit hours in a semester must pay $415 per credit hour for those extra hours.

An Alabama student taking 15 hours in 2015-2016 would pay $339 per credit hour, while students taking 12 hours would pay $423 per credit hour.

UAB tuition is set at $4,798 per semester for students taking 15 credit hours, an average of $320 per credit hour. Students taking health and nursing programs would pay about $50 more per credit hour.

The University of South Alabama (USA), Auburn University of Montgomery (AUM) and the University of Alabama in Huntsville join Troy as Alabama universities that have already announced their 2016-2017 tuition rates.

Undergraduate tuition at USA ranges from $302 to $348 per credit hour depending on which major the student takes, and AUM has set the tuition at $296 per credit hour.

UAH switched to a block tuition for the upcoming year, with students taking 12 to 18 hours paying $4,498 for the semester, meaning that students taking 15 credit hours will pay $300 per hour.