FAQS: Answers to your questions about Trinity!
The Economy, Trinity and You
In these challenging economic times, Trinity students, faculty and staff want to know more about Trinity’s finances — how we decide tuition levels, what goes into the budget, how we steward the interests of our students, alumnae and alumni, donors, employees and the Washington community.
This section answers some ‘frequently asked questions’ but if you don’t see your question listed, please send an email to President McGuire at email@example.com and you will receive a personal answer. If your question has broad appeal, we will also add it to the list below.
- How much does Trinity cost?
- How does Trinity spend my money?
- Where can I get more information on Trinity’s finances?
Tuition and Budget Information
How much does Trinity cost?
Trinity’s tuition prices and related fees vary by the school in which the student enrolls, the degree level, and whether the student is full-time or part-time. Tuition prices also change annually.
To see the current list of tuition and fees visit the Tuition and Fees page of Trinity’s website.
For more detailed information on Trinity’s tuition rates for 2011-2012, Trinity’s budget and spending allocations, please take a minute to view the 2012 Tuition Slideshow (PowerPoint).
How does Trinity spend my money?
The illustration below shows how Trinity spends $35 million in revenues in Fiscal 2012. 46 cents of every dollar goes for salaries and benefits for faculty and staff. 22 cents goes back to students in the form of scholarships and grants. 14 cents of every dollar supports facilities. The rest of the expense budget is illustrated. Trinity can account for every penny and all expenditures are absolutely essential for the operation of an effective university.
Take a minute to review the 2012 Tuition Slideshow (PowerPoint) on Trinity’s tuition and budget, including more detailed FAQs about how we spend your money.
In the current fiscal year (2012, which is the 2011-2012 academic year), Trinity receives about $28 million in net student tuition and fees (“net” means what’s left after we reduce the gross tuition by the amount we award back to students in grants.) In addition, Trinity has received about $7 million in other revenues — mostly gifts and grants, or from auxiliary enterprises like conferences and food service.
Where can I get more information on Trinity’s finances?
Trinity engages the accounting firm of Brown Edwards LLP to conduct the annual audit, and the audited financial statements provide a detailed picture of Trinity’s finances. Click on the fiscal year of interest to you below to go to the audited financial statements for those years:
- Fiscal 2011 (July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011)
- Fiscal 2010 (July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010)
- Fiscal 2009 (July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009)
- Fiscal 2008 (July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008)
- Fiscal 2007 (July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007)
- Fiscal 2006 (July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006)
You can also see Trinity’s Form 990 Federal Tax Return here:
Other Frequently Asked Questions
- What is happening to Trinity’s finances during these difficult economic times?
- Since Wachovia has been Trinity’s bank, what’s happening now that Wells Fargo has taken over Wachovia?
- What’s happening to Trinity’s endowment? Will my scholarship be affected in a negative way?
- What about my student loans? Will I still be able to get the loans I need to pay for my education?
- What if somebody’s job is being eliminated — a student who works at Fannie or Freddie, or a parent who works at a troubled bank? What if someone’s house is going into foreclosure? What can Trinity do to help students, faculty and staff whose personal financial conditions are changing?
- What about my retirement fund?
Frequently Asked Questions
What is happening to Trinity’s finances during these difficult economic times?
Trinity is in sound financial condition and is not unduly disadvantaged by the current external financial situation. In large part, Trinity’s stable condition at present is due to the university’s historically conservative approach to fiscal management. While some colleges and universities have engaged in speculative investments, for example, Trinity manages cash and the endowment in highly conventional ways. Trinity’s longstanding economic discipline makes it possible for the university to remain stable in times when other institutions are experiencing difficulties.
Since Wachovia has been Trinity’s bank, what’s happening now that Wells Fargo has taken over Wachovia?
Trinity’s former accounts with Wachovia, now Wells Fargo, are stable, and the Wachovia team who provided such great service to Trinity in the past continue to do so. We have not experienced any interruption in services. In fact, all of our account liaisons at Wachovia — from the regional president on through the managers and associates handling each of Trinity’s several lines of business — have responded professionally, immediately and with full information to all of our questions. Trinity’s management is in daily contact with the bank, and with Wachovia’s assistance we have reviewed each account position and taken actions that make Trinity’s business interests even more secure.
What’s happening to Trinity’s endowment? Will my scholarship be affected in a negative way?
Your scholarships are safe. Trinity has very few scholarships funded through endowment income, but our financial policies ensure that Trinity continues to fund the scholarships through periods of investment fluctuation. The vast majority of Trinity’s grants and scholarships — $7.7 million in scholarship value in Fiscal 2011 — occur through what is known as an “unfunded discount” meaning that Trinity simply reduces the tuition price by the amount of the scholarship. We do not have actual dollars backing up these grants; instead, Trinity simply does not receive the revenues. This is how grant aid works in most of higher education today.
What about my student loans? Will I still be able to get the loans I need to pay for my education?
YES! Absolutely! Almost all Trinity students take out federally guaranteed student loans, and these come from the federal government. Trinity participates in the Direct Loan program of the U.S. Department of Education.
As you have heard in the media, the economic crisis has had some effect on the student loan industry. The impact is predominantly on private loans offered through banks. Very few Trinity students take out private loans.
In this tough economic climate, all students should be sure to submit your financial aid paperwork as early as possible, and pay close attention to the directions you receive from the Enrollment Services Office. Our staff is eager to help you; every student who wants aid should be able to get federal and local assistance. But we can only help you if you file the paperwork in a timely way.
What if somebody’s job is being eliminated? What if someone’s house is going into foreclosure? What can Trinity do to help students, faculty and staff whose personal financial conditions are changing?
If you are a student and your personal financial situation is changing, please let the Financial Aid Office know as quickly as possible so that we can re-evaluate your aid needs and repackage you if necessary.
If you are an employee and your personal financial situation is affected by the mortgage crisis, please visit with the Office of Human Resources for a personal consultation about strategies and supports to manage through this crisis.
What about my retirement fund?
If you are a Trinity employee participating in the TIAA-CREF retirement fund, please visit with the Office of Human Resources to learn more about ways to manage your account. You can also find a great deal of information on the TIAA-CREF website www.tiaa-cref.org