University of Richmond undergraduate students will pay a 5 percent increase for tuition, room and board for the 2008-09 school year.
According to Herb Peterson, the university's Vice President for Business and Finance, tuition will increase 3.3 percent to $38,350 and room and board will go up 13.9 percent to $7,200. The total cost will be $47,050.
When books, personal expenses and loan interest are added the total cost of attendance will be $49,190.
Peterson said the increase was because of the hiring of new full-time faculty and staff. "The University of Richmond has made great strides over the years and is one of the top 50 national liberal arts universities in the country," Peterson said. "We must get better each year."
The university's Planning and Priorities Committee discussed the increase and sent the idea to the Program Improvements Sub-Committee, which sent it to President Edward Ayers for approval. Ayers then reviewed the proposal and sent it to the Board of Trustees for final approval in January. The Planning and Priorities Committee is made up of senior administrators, deans, faculty and students.
"Tuition increases are necessary and enable the institution to implement enhancements that directly benefit our students -- such as new faculty and staff positions and the renovation of the Commons that will take place this summer," Ayers said.
According to Linda Evans, the university's assistant director of media and public relations, the increase will create two new faculty positions, one in the E. Claiborne Robins School of Business and one in the School of Arts and Sciences. A new position will also be created in the Center for Civic Engagement and two new positions in Student Development "one to expand our outreach to students of color and one to help support Greek life," Evans said.
According to Cynthia Deffenbaugh, director of financial aid, 32 percent of students will pay the full cost of attendance while the other 68 percent will receive some type of aid based on each student's need.
The Office of Financial Aid decides a student's need by subtracting his or her Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the cost of attendance. A student's EFC is decided by the federal government after the student files the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Out of the $1.65 billion endowment the university had as of June 30, 2007, the school will spend $41.2 million on financial aid during the 2008-09 school year. $12.1 million of that money is specifically allotted for financial aid. There will also be unrestricted endowment income totaling $26.9 million that may or may not be used for financial aid purposes.
"We are about 43rd in terms of size of endowment," Peterson said of the university's ranking when compared to other institutions of higher education in the United States. "I believe that we are about tenth in tuition alone; we rank in the 60s for tuition, room and board and that is the reason that the room and board increases are unusually high."
According to Peterson, Richmond is part of 1 percent of schools in the United States that can afford to pay 100 percent of every eligible student's need. This will continue to be true after the increase. Financial aid will still be determined by subtracting a student's EFC from the cost of attendance.
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A student receiving aid must pay or get a loan to cover his or her EFC no matter what kind of aid he or she receives. Aid is given out in the form of grants, loans and scholarships.
"Developing new approaches to access and affordability is a key element of the strategic planning process now under way," Ayers said, "and I am committed to ensuring that the University remains accessible"
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