BOG increases tuition and fee transparency

BOG increases tuition and fee transparency

Laney Ruckstuhl

The UNC Board of Governors ruled April 10 to include a more detailed description of the uses of student tuition and fees within each institution starting fall 2014.

The written statement will also include a visual display in the form of a pie chart, as well as the dollar amount of funds appropriated to each individual student by the General Administration for their annual education.
Louis Bissette, chair of the BOG’s Budget and Finance Committee, said this has been in the works for about a year now.

“It’s not down to the penny, but it’s more detailed than we’ve ever had,” Bissette said.

The statements display the total percentage and dollar amounts of resident and non-resident undergraduate tuitions, broken down into categories. They also show a breakdown of general fees.

“I think it really gives students and parents a better picture of what their tuition and fees are and what they’re used for,” Bissette said.

The 2014-15 projected tuition uses for Appalachian State University undergraduate students are broken down into five categories. The largest percentage of student tuition, 47.8 percent, goes into instruction, including faculty salaries and benefits.

Academic and institutional support makes up 21.6 percent of tuition spending, providing funds for academic and operational functions including legal services and human resources.

Need-based financial aid for other students is 15.2 percent of a student’s tuition, used to help fund attendance for students who demonstrate financial need.

The operation and maintenance of on-campus services such as the physical plant and utilities makes up 12.4 percent.

The remaining 3 percent pays for various student services such as admissions, registrar, career counseling and others.

Bissette said the same is not being done for graduate students because it would be a much more complicated explanation.

“The graduate departments are really set on market forces,” Bissette said. “It’s just totally different than the way undergraduate tuition is set.”

Bissette said he feels transparency is especially important as tuition continues to increase within the system.

The General Assembly voted not to increase Appalachian’s tuition for in-state students for the 2014-15 school year, though out-of-state tuition will increase 6 percent. Appalachian’s Board of Trustees also ruled that student fees will increase $531 next year for all undergraduate students.

“When you’re paying for something, you really kinda want to know what you’re paying for,” Bissette said. “I think the system owes that to its students and their parents.”

Story by Laney Ruckstuhl, Assistant News Editor