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Tuition, Room and Board to Rise 3.65 Percent

Hike comparable to those of other universities

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brown07-1782-002.jpg

Next year's approved tuition hike is the smallest percentage increase since 1969, according to President Robert A. Brown. Photo by Vernon Doucette

Tuition and room and board at Boston University will rise 3.65 percent for the 2010-2011 academic year, to $39,314 for standard tuition and $12,260 for basic room and board.

In an e-mail sent to students and parents, University President Robert A. Brown said the increase, approved recently by the Board of Trustees, was the smallest percentage increase since 1969.

Brown described next year’s tuition hike as the minimum needed to sustain the quality of academic experience at BU. He said the University has experienced a 10 percent rise in the cost of health benefits for faculty and staff and a nearly 12 percent increase in applicants for financial aid among incoming students. The financial aid budget has been increased by 6 percent.

“Our efforts to control costs and maintain quality have been successful,” Brown wrote. “We have been able to recruit outstanding new faculty members and develop new programs, such as our undergraduate major in neuroscience, which is drawing even more students than we had projected. We are about to undertake a multiyear project to extend wireless technology to all classrooms, dining areas, and throughout our residences. We will undertake a major project beginning this summer that will reduce our energy costs and our environmental impact, and we are preparing to begin construction on our new East Campus Student Center.”

BU’s tuition hike is in line with those announced by other universities. Tuition and room and board at Washington University will rise 3.9 percent. Brown University is increasing by 4.5 percent. American University will climb 4.7 percent, Emory 2.9 percent, and Georgetown 2.7 percent.

Executive Vice President Joseph Mercurio says that the University has worked hard to find sustainable cost reductions that will not adversely impact student education.

“Offices associated with managing campus events were merged and downsized,” he says. “Publications have migrated from print to Web-based distribution. Information Technology has merged and downsized disparate desktop support units throughout the University. The computer store was closed, and a new integrated help center has been developed.”

Mercurio says that the increases are part of an overall plan to ensure that faculty and staff will receive salary increases, new academic programs will be initiated next fall, and additional faculty will continue to be recruited.

Art Jahnke can be reached at jahnke@bu.edu.

35 Comments

35 Comments on Tuition, Room and Board to Rise 3.65 Percent

  • Jennifer C. on 03.17.2010 at 5:51 am

    An increase is an increase. Where is the ceiling on this? Getting an education is supposed to even the playing field for everyone but it seems as though getting a degree at BU just causes more social stratification. Higher education elevates the rich and keep those who can’t afford tuition down. YOU SHOULDN’T GO BROKE BECAUSE YOU WANT A COLLEGE DEGREE.

  • Anonymous on 03.17.2010 at 8:46 am

    While merging departments and downsizing offices associated with managing campus events, why not also downsize the administration? This constant hiring and/or appointment of assistant and associate deans is nothing but a waste of money in the attempt to apply bad corporate models to education.

  • Anonymous on 03.17.2010 at 9:47 am

    Not a good strategy

    Given the current economic conditions BU should consider lowering the fee or roll back the per credit increase instead of increasing the fee.May be to show some solidarity with the students and concern regarding their financial matters it can be a very wise idea both from marketing and strategic point of view.Lot of my colleagues inquired from me about the PEMBA program but when they see the fees they back up.Also in this economy lot of companies are changing their Tuition reimbursement policies (i.e taking down the annual limit) and also it’s hard to get approval from company for tutuion reimbursement so why don’t BU show some consideration and think about it.More and moe companies are freezing salaries or implementing the salary cuts so it is really hard to justify this type of increase in tuition when everybody is cutting the expenses.This just shows the poor management of BU.

    In this economy with this woeful strategy , it will be more harder to recruit students for different programs.Hope BU management is listening.

  • Anonymous on 03.17.2010 at 9:52 am

    Right — merging Information Technology sounds good on paper. In reality, BU built an entirely new computer lab in the library with thin-screen computers (all new across the board). And then donated/threw out around 6 labs-worth of computers. Sound good in reality?

    Right — merging on-campus events. Like what? Student government or Student Activities? Groups whose budgets are .0001% of the kind of money we are talking about?

    Right — The computer store was closed. And?????? How is less income benefiting BU and helping to stave off a tuition hike?

    Come off your high horse, BU Today, and admit when the administration is simply throwing around fancy terminology to help confuse the not-yet-at-BU person who doesn’t see what the *REALITY* is in these words.

  • Anonymous on 03.17.2010 at 10:07 am

    I love the first line from BU Today when they post these each year:

    “Hike comparable to those of other universities.”

    Can’t be bothered to be even a little critical?

  • Anonymous on 03.17.2010 at 10:29 am

    Get Real

    Folks, you chose to attend a private university! Tuition hikes are to be expected. If you wanted things cheap, you should have gone to SUNY.

  • Optimistic on 03.17.2010 at 10:39 am

    At least I've got...

    At least I’ve got my apartm… wait, room and board is going up, too? Well, that’s okay! I didn’t need reliable food and shelter anyhow.

    At least I’ve got my financial ai… wait, BU doesn’t reevaluate financial “need” even after a student or his parents lose their job? Well, that’s okay! I don’t want to be a leech on the system.

    At least I’ve got my good friends here at BU… wait, BU stopped admitting students indeterminate of their financial situation? That’s okay! I’ve always wanted to be surrounded by tons of snobby rich kids who don’t care about things like thousands of dollars extra a year.

    At leas… wait, the stores around here are going out of business because BU keeps upping rent on their buildings?

    At lea… wait, the stores that replace them are out-of-reach unaffordable for working-class students?

    Huh… well…

    Oh! At le… wait, my favorite professor is leaving next fall since they won’t give him paid tenure?

    … why do I go here again?

  • Alumnus on 03.17.2010 at 10:46 am

    …and they complain about alumni giving rates. Sorry, can’t be bothered this year. Try again when I finish paying down my loans in 30 years.

  • Anonymous on 03.17.2010 at 11:02 am

    Bulllllll Shitttttttttttt!

  • Anonymous on 03.17.2010 at 11:11 am

    Can't Wait to Transfer!

    Another nail in the coffin on my BU experience, Thanks Terriers, you have failed my expectations in ever way! GO BADGERS!!!! Can’t Wait to save $52,000 and get a better education!

  • Anonymous on 03.17.2010 at 12:03 pm

    Consolidate Office of Res Life

    Speaking from experience as an RA, the consolidation of Residence Life is a great department to start looking for cost savings. There are way too many administrative positions. Let’s get real, do we really need area directors? Most hall directors are competent and mature enough to successfully collaborate with the other hall directors in the area. Why do West Campus, Warren Towers, etc. need yet another person to manage things? (Especially since the area directors often come with their own agenda and hubris.)

    Cut out some of the even higher Res Life admin positions, and you’ll not only save money but you’ll also save RA sanity!

  • Anonymous on 03.17.2010 at 12:18 pm

    SUNY’s expensive, man. State colleges are screwed over because there’s no tax revenue. The worst hit schools are in NY, California, Florida, and Illinois, whose state schools were among the elite. Florida alone slashed university funding by more than $72 billion.

    As for community colleges–tuition’s low, but with all the fees, Mass Bay costs more than UMass-Dartmouth.

    Anyone who’s been pushing for lower taxes deserves much of the blame.

  • Anonymous on 03.17.2010 at 12:20 pm

    So what price cuts have BU President Brown and Dean Sapiro taken hmmm?
    If I see an increase in my tuition I want it to go to the professors since it’s their knowledge I’m paying for.

  • Anonymous on 03.17.2010 at 12:29 pm

    Really looking at other schools

    Isn’t it funny that schools like Middlebury (http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/16/tuition/), Illinois State (http://www.comptroller.ilstu.edu/studentaccounts/tuition-rates/undergraduate.shtml), and Missouri State (http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/01/19/tuition) bothered to look at the current state of the economy and actually tried to help their students out? BU, stop trying to be more flashy and instead care about families struggling to send their kids here.

  • Guy in the CS lab on 03.17.2010 at 1:21 pm

    While I’m not happy about rising costs, comparing BU to two unranked state schools and a liberal arts school is unfair. The first two are greatly subsidized and the other have an entirely different animal.

    Also to mention, cutting rates ironically have pitfalls, the Missouri State article below gave hint to that. People think schools that cut rates are schools on the decline, so it hurts recruitment and marketing.

    Okay, I’m sounding apologetic now after point out those two flaws of argument. I’m not happy with increased costs either, who would. It would be nice as a student and my perspective, if BU is willing to go really low or no increase inst

  • Anonymous on 03.17.2010 at 3:05 pm

    Decrease faculty and programs

    It’s not like we really need more programs or more faculty members (or that the current faculty members are even any good, some of them). Why not make cuts so that we, the students, aren’t robbed just to recieve a piece of paper in four years that qualifies us to work at McDonald’s! There are NO benefits for the students at Boston University, just the faculty. Isn’t the purpose of the school to benefit students? Why is BU so focused on everybody else?

  • Anonymous on 03.17.2010 at 3:29 pm

    This is why I am transferring….Screw off BU.

  • Anonymous on 03.17.2010 at 5:26 pm

    Hope

    I really hope I get into the school I applied to for transfer. If I am going to throw my money to the wind, I’d rather do it at a university that actually cares about its students. BU doesn’t cut it. (Pun intended). This cash cow is outta here!

  • Anonymous on 03.17.2010 at 5:55 pm

    Unnecessary building

    While pretty, those new, illuminated columns on campus add nothing to my educational experience.

  • Anonymous on 03.17.2010 at 6:18 pm

    I’m mad about the tuition hike too, but consider the economy. While the 2009 inflation rate was -.34% because the system tanked, the inflation rate in 2008 was 3.85%. Most of us/our parents haven’t received pay raises to compensate for this, but in reality, BU is breaking even.

  • Anonymous on 03.17.2010 at 7:32 pm

    Marketing and Advertisement

    Believe it or not annually BU probably spends several hundred thousand $ in marketing, advertisement and publishing materials.
    A highly reputed and ranked institution does not need to spend
    this kind of money. If a university reputable and attractive students will naturally stand in que to get in.

  • Anonymous on 03.18.2010 at 2:52 am

    Even though this is about a 2,000 dollar increase, is it truly necessary? What is with all the major new rennovating and construction plans given this economy? Students already pay more than what can fit into their pocketbooks plus BU wasn’t that helpful with financial aid last year. So what financial aid are they planning to give to more people this year? A few cents (like the Barns and Noble ripoffs-who hired these guys?)? I’d say slightly decrease the student population, and put a hold on the new rennovations. Wait for the economy to improve more before doing anything radical. And why isn’t BU compared to MIT and Harvard above? They have a higher gross budget; what is their increase? BU has a way higher budget than the other schools compared above, I believe. What about MIT and Harvard who have about 10-13 billion times more money? All in all, BU is a great school people. Yet, everyone does stupid things, and yes it is irritating.
    The higher ups should divulge their plans to the student body and let the ones who are paying for the bulk of everything have a louder say in the decisions. Or they could just stop being so focused on reputation subjectively. What about objectively – what about how the students, not the numbers, show and feel? I know the article worded to make the plans sound fascinating and benevolent, but who knows what goes on behind the scenes.

  • Anonymous on 03.18.2010 at 9:48 am

    Cost of the Administration

    What exactly has BU done to CUT administrative costs? Where are the reductions in administrator positions? Why doesn’t BU streamline and get rid of all of its middle managers? This is where the real cost is at the university. Faculty at least deliver a service to the students. Administrators, with their associates and assistants and their administrative secretaries, simply suck the system dry with high salaries and benefits packages. Next time your tuition increases, don’t blame the professors or their salaries or benefits, blame the administrative bloat at this university.

  • Anonymous on 03.18.2010 at 11:53 am

    Meanwhile, up the Avenue ...

    Interestingly, Boston College just published an almost identical article (http://www.bc.edu/publications/chronicle/TopstoriesNewFeatures/topstories/tuition031810.html), except that they tout their need-blind admissions policy (a true shame on BU for not doing this as well) and the fact that they meet the “full demonstrated need” of every undergraduate, whatever that means.

    What makes the BC article even more interesting is that it cites some of the same “competitor” schools (Brown, Georgetown, etc.) but provides different stats than the BU Today article … Hmm

  • Anonymous on 03.18.2010 at 1:37 pm

    I’m assuming that your are trying to insinuate that BU is inflating (and thus lying) of other school’s increases. Funny thing is BU says Brown is 4.5 while BC says 4.9, BU says Georgetown is 2.7 but BC says they are raising by 3.0, and Washington University is 3.9 but BC says 4.2. Odd to go “hmm…” which tend to lead students to think BU is trying to inflate percentages to make BU look less bad, but BC claims higher increases.

  • Anonymous on 03.18.2010 at 3:58 pm

    ridiculous

  • Anonymous on 03.18.2010 at 8:41 pm

    I can’t wait until StuVi 3 and 4 finish. While the education remains as shitty as ever. Thank you BU.

  • Anonymous on 03.19.2010 at 6:51 am

    Why are we paying more money to maintain the outrageous wages of the higher-ups, but moreso, to finance BU’s expansion and outrageous amount of construction? Why are our money and our parent’s money turned into the tools of the BU Empire? They should be helping our education, not making a “prestigious university”, and as far as I can see the improvements most often paid for are aesthetic. Either that or they only benefit the schools that are already tied into the capital-generation process for BU.

    Screw that.

  • Anonymous on 03.19.2010 at 3:53 pm

    IT / Administrative costs

    I joined IT at BU 4 years ago – a replacement employee in a department of 9. Since then there has been less replacement of employee, we are now a department of 7. It may not sound like much, but that is a 20% reduction in staff doing the same job. That is also 2 jobs no longer available to residents of Massachusetts. We are just 9(now 7) people in a much larger organization.
    ……………………………………………………………………..
    I can walk down the hall and pass about 70 employees – half of whom I don’t expect to be employed at BU in 5 years – several of those jobs, I personally don’t expect to be replaced.
    ……………………………………………………………………
    The statements about IT changes being just rhetoric are – basically – immature and uninformed.

  • Anonymous on 03.21.2010 at 11:55 am

    The Value of a Dollar

    You people at BU have absolutely no clue about the value of a single dollar. Give me a break? “Only a 3.65% tuition increase…” Millions of people across this country are struggling to even make $1,000, let alone $52,000. I seriously do not care your financial aid reasons and all. Fact is fact, you guys have already increased tuition when the costs of attending this university are already astronomically high and at a time when people can least afford education. BU administration better be EMBARRASSED!! You guys seriously EXPECT students to donate back to the university? The students have spoken, and I guarantee you that almost NOBODY will donate back to this greedy university.

    Three things I want to see:
    1. Cut down the number of employees; there are too many useless, unnecessary workers at this university.
    2. DRASTICALLY reduce tuition so more people can afford it
    3. SPEND THE MONEY WISELY; the administration here has been absolutely hypocritical and untrustworthy when it comes to money

  • Anonymous on 03.22.2010 at 1:37 pm

    can’t wait to graduate.

  • Anonymous on 03.26.2010 at 11:30 pm

    BU has been my dream school since I first set eyes on its campus. I was accepted today too. But this ridiculous tuition is kinda discouraging me from attending, and my parents probably won’t want to pay for this either. Way to go, BU.

  • Anonymous on 04.11.2010 at 10:51 am

    Hmm..

    I just got into grad school. I was so happy until I realized that I may have to go for broke to pay for it. I need a masters degree for my career, I just hate the fact the american educational systems is so unfair to working class (or basically anybody who isn’t upper middle class) people.

  • Cloridrato de Sibutramina on 05.25.2010 at 8:24 pm

    Shameful

    I am sorry that this is happening.

    With our country facing this crisis and people experiencing extreme difficulty level is at least immoral this increase.

    Make a cut in salaries for senior and I’m sure that this increase is not required.

    Look at the example of Middlebury (http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/16/tuition/) and Missouri (http://www.riodicas.com/sibutramina-ou-cloridrato-de-sibutramina/ ) who care for truth with their students.

  • Anonymous on 11.28.2011 at 9:00 pm

    I recently read an article about an alumni donating 50-something million dollars to this University. And what happened with that money? Well, obviously some of it had to go to build some sort of monument in his name, and the rest… who knows? BU could have used it to allow all of its students to attend school a little bit cheaper, maybe inspire some school pride for a school that gives back to its students… Nope nope nope.

    Unfortunately, this is a common trend that is happening everywhere. Students across America have no idea how they’re going to pay for school…

    It doesn’t make sense!

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