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Tuition, Room and Board Increase Smallest in 20 Years

Up 3.4 percent for 2016–2017


BU’s Board of Trustees has set the next academic year’s tuition and fees at $50,240 and basic room and board at $14,870. The combined rate will be 3.4 percent more than this year’s, and is the smallest increase in two decades.

At the same time, the University is boosting financial aid for students in next year’s budget. The higher fees also will include a $50 increase in the health and wellness fee “to support a needed expansion of the number of behavioral health professionals in Student Health Services,” President Robert A. Brown wrote in a letter to the University community.

“For the 2016/2017 academic year, we expect to offer approximately $230 million in undergraduate financial aid to over 7,600 (roughly 50 percent) of our undergraduate students,” Brown wrote. He added that the University is working to manage its spending through “improved business processes and controls, as well as streamlining and consolidation of support services where this can be done while maintaining the quality of a Boston University education and providing necessary supports and services to students and faculty.”

Most cost increases in the coming year, he wrote, are due to necessary competitive salary and benefits increases, investment in academic programs and facilities, and the cost of running BU’s physical plant.

“We acknowledge the very substantial financial investments made by parents and students, and we strive to offer our students an exceptional educational experience that is a foundation for a lifetime of learning and professional success that justifies your investment,” the president wrote.

Next year’s stand-alone tuition rate will be 3.7 percent more than this year’s, while the room and board rate will reflect a 2.4 percent rise.

Rich Barlow

Rich Barlow can be reached at barlowr@bu.edu.

2 Comments on Tuition, Room and Board Increase Smallest in 20 Years

  • Misleading on 03.17.2016 at 10:32 am

    It may be the smallest percentage increase in 2 decades but when tuition increases every year the board can increase by a smaller percentage each year while still getting the same total number of dollars. Tuition has also increased at more than twice the rate of inflation, so this is not a cost of living increase. I am always amused when BU, claims it has done be a great favor by increasing tuition by such a “small” amount.

  • Ryan on 03.17.2016 at 5:30 pm

    Unfortunately as too many students today at BU and elsewhere realize, platitudes about the ‘substantial’ costs borne by students and their families for a undergraduate degree don’t even begin to account for the travesty that is BU’s and other private university’s tuition.

    So BU has broken the $50 000 mark. Students–do you believe you will notice an improvement in the quality of your education next year? Will the graduate students grading your work and leading your discussion sections, for example, receive actual training on how to be strong teachers for you?

    Will your professors show more interest in you?

    Will class sizes be reduced? Teaching made more responsive to your needs and the world today?

    Will this be the year that you begin to sincerely question President Brown’s salary, and whether it’s justifiable?

    Is, in the worst-case scenario, 200k of non-dischargeable debt worth a BA?

    Believe it or not, you do have some control over this situation. Vote with your feet, guys. The ‘private’ university offers you little more than a state school, and from my perspective on the ‘inside,’ I can tell you for a fact that even many professors feel your not getting your value for your money.

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