• Amy Laskowski

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    Amy Laskowski

    Amy Laskowski graduated from Syracuse University in 2007 with a degree in English, and earned a master’s in journalism at the College of Communication in 2015. She helps edit the work of BU Today’s interns and is always hunting for interesting, quirky stories around BU. Profile

Comments & Discussion

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There are 61 comments on BU 2015–2016 Tuition and Room and Board to Increase 3.7 Percent

  1. Maybe I could ask President Brown to clarify to whom these “raises in competitive salaries” are going? Certainly not to faculty or to non-administrative staff. Maybe if the university stopped hiring new administrators all the time (along with their “competitive salaries”), the tuition hike wouldn’t be quite as necessary. Recent studies have shown that the majority of growth in university spending over the last two decades can be attributed to the enormous hiring of administrators and BU Is no exception (if the constant emails i receive announcing new administrative positions and hirings are any proof). See for example: http://www.air.org/resource/labor-intensive-or-labor-expensive-changing-staffing-and-compensation-patterns-higher. It would certainly make the tuition hike more palatable if we could learn what percentage of a tuition dollar is going where (including to administration) and how that ratio has changed over time. Thank you.

    1. The university simply doesn’t care. They’ll continue to squeeze students and rob them of their futures by piling them with crippling debt until the whole system collapses like a cheap house of cards.

      Unless of course they can successfully court more wealthy international students, which they have been doing aggressively as of late.

      1. yes. BU expands its acceptance to international students in order to receive more money. However, not all international students are rich as BU simply thought. It’s unreasonable that BU doesn’t offer any financial helps for the international students who want to pursue higher education. it is unfair. Education shouldn’t be that expensive.

        Is there any possibilities we can fight back?

  2. “Competitive rises in salaries”: he surely can’t mean for faculty. It’s for all the new administrators and ‘associate deans of deans’ and ‘associate provosts of this or that’ that we keep getting emails about. Go figure: these administrators recommend the tuition increases, not the faculty. Naturally they recommend raises for themselves or new positions to help them do their work so they get to do less. It’s like when politicians in legislatures vote to raise their own salaries – the difference being that the voters can vote the legislators out, while the administrators are accountable to no one.

  3. Of course tuition will rise with inflation & rising costs, but at some point – the cost of school will outweigh the advantage of higher education

    1. Its been past that point for a while. Its just so ingrained in our culture that people can’t seem to see it. I’ve started my own business and spent about 25% of one year’s tuition to get it off the ground. My company is evaluated at two million dollars. Do the math.

  4. “Brown noted in his letter that BU’s five-year average increase is one of the lowest among peer universities. By comparison, tuition and fees will increase 4 percent at Georgetown and the University of South Carolina next year, and 3.9 percent at Yale.”

    This is so irrelevant. We go to school at BU and a 3.7% increase is still A LOT OF MONEY.

    1. It is relevant. They raise the price cause they can. Everybody raises it, does BU have an obligation to give a shit? They really don’t, and they’re a business. Welcome to the real world and capitalism.

  5. We could all just learn German and get free education over in Germany… They seem to be doing pretty well. ;)

    Or we could keep hiring more administrators that we don’t have the money to pay for without handing out loans which don’t exactly encourage the institution of high education. Community college, anyone?

    1. Actually, you don’t even have to learn German to get a college degree up to the PhD or MD level for free in Germany. They have hundreds of degrees entirely in English at all levels and American students can earn them for free.

  6. As a parent I would like to know why the tuition and R&B needs to go up at over TWICE the rate of inflation?? This has occured for the last 20+ years making eucation all but unaffordable. Just because other schools are raising their rates more doesn’t make it right. As a parent of a student whose child does NOT get aid this is very concerning to me.

  7. Most of the above comments are “spot on”. What is really depressing is the lack of transparency that let’s this game continue.

  8. What is this about “raises in competitive salaries”? Who’s getting these raises–because it isn’t faculty. I have, on the other hand, noticed lots and lots of emails about new administrative positions popping up here and there. Bureaucratic bloat at BU is enough to make even Stalin blush.

  9. I seriously don’t know if I can afford this. I’d like to see a comprehensive breakdown of the university’s spending–too much is kept from us with respect to where our funds are going.

    1. I’m on the same page as you. If it keeps going up like this, I genuinely don’t know if I can afford it. They say it’s “not as much” as schools like Georgetown and Yale, but one of the reasons I’m at BU is because I can’t pay for that Georgetown or Yale degree, which (any arguments about the actual quality of the education aside) grants a certain acclaim in post-college years; one that might be worth a bit more money — a bit more that a student has agreed to pay by attending a univeristy like that.

  10. It’s getting harder and harder to lie to my mom’s face and say, “No mom, the school is worth the debt. I’ll be able to pay it off.” I believed it as a freshman, I’m not so sure anymore.

    1. I graduated from BU almost 11 years ago today, and for reference, tuition has gone up about 50% over what I paid just that short time ago. 3.x% over 10 years adds up fast.

  11. How much longer are American students and families going to accept this?

    It’s a travesty and is embarrassing that BU successfully charges criminal rates of tuition for students who are trying to earn an education that, in the words of one tenured BU professor in my department, “is no better than what they’re providing at UMass Boston, but for multiple times the cost.”

    My undergraduate degree in another country cost me $4500 a year, and the education was just as good, and probably better, than what I’ve received at BU. As another poster has already mentioned, numerous countries in Europe completely subsidize their higher education systems, notably among them Germany.

    The cost of tuition at BU is corrosive and makes it nearly impossible to make sense of the non-vocational value of liberal arts in the education. No student should pay nearly $50 000 a year to study English, philosophy or theater. That’s a death sentence, and the faculty in those departments know it, but they believe they have no choice but to play the game and entice students to enroll in their classes with misleading data about what ’employers really want.’ This coming from senior professors who likely haven’t worked outside of academia since before they entered graduate school in the 1970s.

    Perhaps too many of us are impressed with BU’s status as a private school. I personally take it to be an abomination of education as a public trust that there are any private schools in higher education at all. Other countries clearly set an example that a fully subsidized system can excel in higher education and be a world-class university.

    Hopefully one day President Brown will consider the symbolic gesture of donating a portion of his $1 000 000+ (yep, that’s one million plus) income to a scholarship fund for students who cannot afford BU’s tuition, but who aren’t eligible for the grants BU so tendentiously advertises each year when there’s an inevitable tuition increase. After all, if he truly believes education is a public trust, I’m just not sure he’d be able to justify his CEO-type salary.

    Educate yourselves on the history of higher education, everyone–especially in the US. You’re being duped. It doesn’t need to be this expensive.

  12. Lachlan and other commentators are absolutely right: administrative expenses are driving the cost of colleges more than any other factor and BU is among the worst offenders. I want every student reading this to understand that these tuition hikes are not going into the pockets of their instructors. And I hope every tenured professor reading this is moved to action to try and reclaim their control of the university.

  13. This is not trying to increase the school’s educational competitive but forcing students to leave school sooner. I planned to take graduate education in BU after I finish the undergrad program. But right now, I’m really not sure.
    Tuition increases so frequently! If students are responsible for the so called increased salaries and gas price,then school should be responsible for students’ loss of five-day tuition fee in this semester! Having make up classes on Saturday is not the solution! Lots of students need to work on Saturday to pay for their tuitions. Thanks a lot!

    1. Agree with you on graduate studies… I am completing my bachelor degree this year and had planned to apply to the part-time MBA program in the fall at BU. The total program tuition exceeds similar programs at private institutions by a minimum of $10K+. I just can’t justify paying a premium PLUS guaranteed tuition increases of nearly 4% per year when I can achieve a similar degree at other reputable schools.

  14. We international students are not enjoying benefits of U.S students. We can’t have financial aids and we’re not allowed to work outside the campus. Instead of providing any help to us, BU is increasing tuition annually.This is beyond acceptance! If BU can provide same quality of education as Yale does, then I’m totally fine with that. But the truth is we’re not at that level, and therefore it is ridiculous to compare our tuition with theirs.

  15. How many of the above posters supported the threatened strike last year by maintenance workers? They got a new contract with an average wage of $30/hour or so. High salaries require high tuition.

    I hear that UMass Boston is a lot cheaper.

    1. Last year I supported the B&G workers when negotiations stalled with the BU admin. They perform essential tasks here on campus. I also support BU adjunct faculty in their upcoming contract talks. but neither group (along with support staff) is responsible for rising tuition & fees. It is the CHOICE of the BU admin to pass on costs to students, and to support staff as they now seek to reduce benefits for BU employees. In reality adjuncts & staff can seek only a few more crumbs from the table when, as others imply here, what’s needed is a new division of the whole pie. To extend the analogy, that means cutting out administrative bloat.

  16. Just so we’re clear, the “administrators” who may or may not be getting much higher wages are all at the top of the administrative ladder. The rank-and-file staff on BU’s campus are paid, on average, significantly lower than their peers at other comparable institutions. This is especially true of the academic staff in the various colleges and schools’ departments.

    1. I worked for BU for a decade in a highly technical position and this is 100% true. In the past BU would hike tuition at the same time as putting a freeze on staff raises, then hike the paper cost of your benefits package and call that a raise. The day I left (to work for a nonprofit company, no less!), that was a bigger pay raise than the sum of every increase BU offered me as I moved from entry level to a senior role.

    2. This is absolutely true. I’ve been at BU over 10 years and I’ve not yet reached the ‘middle range’ of my salary grade. OVER TEN YEARS and I’ve not reached the middle. They recently removed the middle range listing on the HR website, now they only show the entry level so they can keep hiring salaries low. People can’t negotiate as well when they don’t know the range for the salary.

      I’ve receive MAYBE a 2.3% raise each year (on a good year) with exemplary reviews, perfect, stellar reviews of my position. This is a professional position requiring expertise and a college degree. I am valued by my department and I do an excellent job, regardless staff salaries are minimal, and the tuition keeps climbing.

      Other universities pay much more. With BU raising tuition and cutting employee benefits is ANYONE going to be happy besides those at the very top?

      It’s ludicrous.

      1. Ditto. It is impossible to have a family in the Boston area and work at BU with anything less than a Director Title.

        The inflation rate may be hovering around 3% in places like Montana and Idaho, but I bet they are closer to 8% in New England. When’s the last time anyone in lower level staff got 5% raises, let alone anything approaching 8%

        They set up dead end jobs for staff that don’t even allow for advancement too

        1. And this very problem has led to top-heavy org charts, filled with Directors, Associate Directors, Assistant Directors, and so forth. A lot of these positions are just re-titlings and re-gradings of positions that have no need for “Director” in their title, but that rebranding justifies a pay grade increase.

  17. And to think they will have the nerve to ask me for donations after I graduate as I partake in pay off my debt/partake in indentured servitude.

    1. Historically BU has a very low rate of alumni giving; Pres. Brown even acknowledged it (without explanation) in last year’s State of the University message. But numerous alumni have explained their reasoning: they were overcharged while here, & often feel that they were treated badly by the administration. What goes around comes around.

  18. ridiculous BU. how can BU regard Yale as PEER UNIVERSITY????
    BU never consider the feeling of international students. they can’t receive the financial aid. How can education be so expensive? Education is for everyone, not the rich people.

  19. I am very disappointed in this tuition increases for four straight year. It is not a cost of living increase, it will not be going to a large raise the security guards or maintenance workers in the dorms and they are not getting a 3.7 or is it total 7.3% increase. Two more semesters to pay for and I will be a very happy parent when my college student graduates BU. These increases are not in line with the energy efficient dorms, lack of endowment being distributed, the University President Suite in SMG that is decked out in elegant furniture and decor. The international student and wealthy student enrollment is a missing factor. NEVER ASK ME FOR A DONATION please. This UNIVERSITY needs a serious FINANCIAL overhaul.
    I work two jobs and my son has been working 25 hours a week to pay for food as he has opted out of the meal plan to save money. This is a disgrace, starving students, crowded classes, poor student advisors and no college cost freeze for the middle class working families. More scholarship money should be given to kids who need it, I have asked every year and get denied. Good BYE BU I can not wait to leave and will not recommend this school due to the cost and lack of community.

  20. This article is essentially published every year and the reactions are the same every year. This is higher education, the price goes up every year for every school, you should have researched that before you got here. Those shiny StuVii dorms, rec center, and hundo bay are what sell students and those things cost a lot of money. Now that you are here, your tuition is financing the next set of cool buildings to attract the next generation of students, that is how the cycle works. If you wanted the bare essential type education then you should go to a community college instead.

    International students are here because they are full pay largely. If the university gave need based aid to international students a lot of them would not be here anymore. This isn’t Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, or Princeton that can afford to give need-based financial aid to international students.

    1. We’re paying the same amount of tuition as U.S students(and tax of course), but we don’t have U.S citizenship, which means we’re not enjoying the same rights as you do. You guys can get a part-time job off-campus, while we’re pretty much bankrupted after paying all the fees and tuition. The increasing tuition is ridiculous enough, the mistreatment of international students is even beyond sense. Plus, lots of the hardware in this university were built a long time ago, and they’re not improving for decades. On what reason BU should increase its tuition?

      1. If you had the financial means to come to the US then you also had the ability to pursue cheaper university options both at home and/or in Europe. The part-time job on campus isn’t financing anyone’s education here, at best it is providing spending money.

  21. How can Professors not get a pay increase? They are the backbone to every educational institution. The university president needs to disclose the financial itemized budget that supports this increaes. Do you know a student living in student village will be paying $500 more for room ? That is a lot for a eco friendly, energy efficent building, same old furniture and appliances.

  22. cost of living increase 1.7% for 2015. Average base salary increases 3.0% for 2015. Bu tuition increase 3.7%..really? Whatever is causing this increase one thing is certain its a big problem.

  23. Glad my daughter graduated last year. 3.7%…….HOLY Moses. That’s about $2200 more per year. I have a number of friends that still go to BU; I hope the fin aid increase is commensurate with the room & board hike.

    This is what Obama was talking about- there is no reason for colleges and universities to do this damn near every year.

  24. A lot of bu graduates are not even finding jobs and if they do, the salary is basic. It is not worth it anymore. going to state college is much better option, over 4 years you will save 160k in tuition. better give them the money, start their life after college with positive money instead of starting from scratch. How long are they going to work to save that much money. The education system is going to fall apart

    1. Agree 100%. Unless BU graduates are finding great salaries right out of school, it is not worth it. BU knows that loans will always meet whatever price tag the school demands.

  25. So what happens to students who just can’t afford to go to this institution anymore ?! When we apply to BU we don’t intend to pay for close to 4% tuition hikes every single year! That is outrageous!
    At least give us the option (particularly for international students) to fix tuition rate for four years at the first-year level! Also, international students such as myself in the college of arts and sciences CANNOT apply for jobs or internships with payment off BU campus EVEN DURING THE SUMMER and that has nothing to do with our visa status. That is a BU rule that doesn’t exist at SMG because “SMG students need internships as an essential part of their eduction” ANY student in the sciences, social sciences, or humanities can tell you that in order to be competitive ( AND MAYBE EVEN HELP OURSELVES TO PAY INSANE TUITION HIKES) WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO WORK JUST AS MUCH AS ANY SMG STUDENT.

    Ridiculous. Oh and PS President Brown, Yale is NOT a “peer” institution.

  26. The best part is that, even with financial aid, you get less and less each year. Every senior I’ve known at BU, including myself, has had to fish out boatloads more money to pay off the final year of undergrad and be able to graduate…what an interesting coincidence.

  27. So, for those of you who have been at BU for the past few years as students, do you have any advice for someone who is considering attending BU starting I the fall, who didn’t get any financial aid at all? For the business school, do you feel you are getting your money’s worth?

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