President Patricia McGuire released the following message to the Trinity community today about tuition for 2009-2010:
TO: The Trinity Community
Trinity’s Board of Trustees has established the new tuition and fee schedule for 2009-2010. Mindful of the economic stress that our students face every day, the Trustees tried hard to keep the necessary increase as low as possible while also ensuring sufficient revenues to support Trinity’s academic quality, ongoing facilities upgrades, continuing technology improvements, and improved faculty salaries. The Trustees decided to increase all tuition levels by 3%, which is a rate that Trinity has kept for many years. This rate is much lower than the 4% to 8% increase rates that we have seen consistently among other private institutions. The benchmark of full-time undergraduate tuition will increase from $18,800 to $19,360 for the next academic year, which is still many thousands of dollars below the national average for private colleges, which is now more than $26,000. Realizing that this is steep for many of our students, however, Trinity continues to offer a robust financial aid package, and you can learn more about your financial aid options on our website.
The full rate schedule is published on the tuition and fees page on Trinity’s web site. You can also learn more about Trinity’s tuition, financial aid and finances if you visit the “FAQ” or “Frequently Asked Questions” page on our website. On that page you will see a link to a “Tuition Slideshow” that provides a great deal of information about our finances.
This tuition increase will gross about $670,000 in additional revenues for Trinity. About $270,000 (40%) of that amount goes back to students in the form of grants and discounts on the various tuition prices, leaving a “net” tuition gain of just about $400,000, which is not much additional revenue for a university of our size. About $150,000 of the remaining amount will cover additional costs in goods and services for Trinity as our vendors and others from whom we purchase services raise their prices; gas, electrical water, fuel, technology, paper, service contracts, etc. are all getting more expensive in this economy. Approximately $250,000 will pay for increases in personnel costs, including several new faculty positions, a small wage increase for faculty and staff and increased costs for fringe benefits, especially health insurance. Mindful of the economic condition of the country, we are being deeply conservative in estimating personnel costs while also needing to recognize the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff whose wages are generally much less than they would earn elsewhere. Having said that, prudent fiscal policy in this deep recession requires austerity where possible; hence, personnel whose salaries are at $100,000 or higher will be frozen for FY10. All other expenses, whether new or continuing, will be managed within the parameters of our existing budget levels, meaning that Fiscal 2010 will be a “steady state” budget at about $23 million total.
We will also work even harder to raise revenues from other sources beyond tuition, including charitable gifts (which are difficult to increase in the recession) and more recovery of fees for conferences and rentals throughout the year.
We also are paying very close attention to the additional benefits that students will receive through the Economic Stimulus legislation that recently became law. Increases in Pell grants, the improved tuition tax credit, more work-study money and other forms of improved financial aid will pass through to students in the months ahead. Trinity’s Office of Enrollment Services is working hard to be sure that every student gets all the information necessary to take full advantage of the full amounts of federal, state, local and private grants and loans available to you. For more information about the financial aid resources available at Trinity, please visit the Applying for Financial Aid web page.
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments about any of this. Thanks for being part of our great Trinity community!