Tuition hikes for 2019-20: No increase at SUU; DSU’s increase among highest in Utah

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ST. GEORGE — After two days of meetings and discussion, the Utah State Board of Regents approved tuition increases, with only one university not increasing its tuition or student fees.

Students on campus at Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah, date not specified. The university announced there will be no tuition or fee increases for the upcoming school year. | Southern Utah University, St. George News

Institutions in Utah presented their tuition proposals for the 2019-20 school year to the board of regents Thursday in Sandy. Those proposals were approved Friday.

Southern Utah University was the only institution in the Utah System for Higher Education to not ask for an increase in tuition — something the university hasn’t done in 46 years.

According to a press release from SUU, the administration performed a thorough review of the university’s budget and was able to find areas where faculty and staff can shift resources, resulting in financial efficiency.

“We are tightening our belts on administrative expenses while maintaining funding for student requested needs,” SUU President Scott Wyatt said in the press release.

“The student body asked for a general student fee increase, but instead of having the student population pay more in fees we decided to absorb their request into the overall university budget,” Wyatt said. “We were able to add more academic advisors, a mental health counselor and more faculty positions. Student needs come first.”

On the other hand, Dixie State University had the highest percent increase in tuition — 5 percent — resulting in an extra $223 for the 2019-20 academic year.

Tuition increases for public institutions in Utah:

  • University of Utah: 3.2 percent – $256.
  • Utah State University: 3.25 percent – $206.
  • Weber State University: 2 percent – $98.
  • Snow College: 2.5 percent – $83.
  • Dixie State University: 5 percent – $223.
  • Utah Valley University: 1.7 percent – $86.
  • Salt Lake Community College: 2 percent – $67.

The average increase for institutions in USHE is 2.46 percent. According to data from College Board, Utah is among the lowest in the country for college tuition.

The board of regents adopted policy changes last November that simplified the process of how tuition is decided. In these changes, USHE discontinued the practice of applying a uniform tuition rate to all institutions. It also discontinued the two-tiered tuition structure, which allowed institution presidents, with the board’s approval, to propose a second-tier tuition rate increase — which could apply to all programs equally or differentiate for certain programs.

These changes were in response to a legislative audit that found the Utah State Board of Regents approved tuition increases with little documented discussion. According to the audit, tuition for Utah institutions increased by nearly $132 million in the last five years.

Besides tuition, the board of regents also approved student fee proposals, which are intended to help various programs on institutions’ campuses, for the 2019-20 year. Dixie State University proposed an increase of $21 in total for student fees, allotting $816 in total for 2019-20.

The only decreases Dixie State made under the student activity and support fees was a 25 cent reduction for its student-run news organization, the Dixie Sun News, and a $2 decrease for student ID cards. For technology fees, Dixie State made a $42 decrease for instructional computers. The athletic fee was increased to $204, a 25.9 percent increase from last year.

Student fees for public institutions in Utah:

  • University of Utah: Increase of $22; $1,247.48 total.
  • Utah State University: Increase of $25.78; $107.07 total.
  • Weber State University: Increase of $29.02; $996.26 total.
  • Snow College: Increase of $10; $426 total.
  • Dixie State University: Increase of $21; $816 total.
  • Utah Valley University: Increase of $8; $698 total.
  • Salt Lake Community College: Increase of $18; $492 total.

To learn more about tuition and student fee increases for institutions in Utah, you can visit the USHE website.

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