David Adams | Echo
Taylor's tuition will climb to $30,030 next year, a 2.5 percent increase over the 2014-15 cost. The Board of Trustees approved the higher rate at its February meeting, along with a 2.5 percent increase in room and board charges.
Costs next year-including tuition, room, board and required fees-will total $38,767, according to a faculty email announcement Tuesday from President Eugene Habecker.
The 2.5 percent climb marks the final year of Taylor's four-year commitment to keep cost increases near 2.5 percent, Dean of Students Skip Trudeau said. The increase for the 2014-15 school year was 2.94 percent, The Echo reported in February 2014. Increases past the 2015-16 year have not yet been determined.
Higher scholarship awards for incoming freshmen, faculty and staff raises and climbing health insurance costs are the three major drivers of the fee increase, according to Provost Jeff Moshier. General costs like utilities and food prices also continue to rise.
Freshmen entering Taylor for the 2015-16 school year will benefit from the increased scholarship awards. The highest academic scholarships will rise to $14,000 annually from the current $10,000 level, according to Tim Nace, director of Financial Aid. The second and third highest scholarships will climb to $12,000 and $10,000, respectively.
The new awards bring Taylor's scholarships in line with those of its competitors, Nace said. Continuing students' merit-based awards will remain unchanged.
Taylor's administration continues to seek ways to stretch its budget without large tuition increases, Moshier said. The university programs review, which began in the fall semester, aims to find areas to cut costs in order to increase program quality and faculty and staff compensation, among other goals.
Faculty salaries will increase approximately 3 percent next year as a result of the tuition increase. Even with that raise, Taylor faculty salaries are significantly behind those of its competitors, Moshier said.
Compared to the national average, Taylor's cost increases have been relatively small. The College Board's Trends in College Pricing 2014 report said the average tuition, fees, room and board increase was 3.6 percent at private, nonprofit four-year institutions. The finding is based on self-reported data from over 1,200 such colleges and compares the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years.
Look for additional coverage of decisions made at the February Board of Trustees meeting in future editions of The Echo.