March 27, 2012
Dear faculty and staff,
The message below was sent to students about the UNT System Board of Regents' approval of an increase in tuition and fees this morning. I wanted to make sure you also were informed and to let you know how this will impact our budget situation.
This approved increase will put us on more solid financial footing and enable us to continue our momentum. But as I promised students, we will continue to make reductions, reallocate funds and implement other cost-savings measures, staying true to our culture of doing the best we can with the money we have.
With the additional revenue, we will be able to augment the pool we already have set aside for pay raises in FY 2013 to provide a more competitive pay increase. The process necessary to implement those raises will be completed soon so that raises can take effect Sept. 1, 2012.
I want to thank each of you for your continued commitment to UNT and to our students.
I wanted to let you know that in a specially called meeting today, the UNT System Board of Regents approved a 3.95 percent tuition and fee increase for each of the next two years. In addition to the 3.95 percent increase, the board also approved a $25 per semester credit hour increase for graduate tuition starting in Fall 2012, the first such increase since Fall 2005.
We did not want to increase tuition and fees and looked at all of the alternatives. As you know, our state support has been reduced and that means we have a harder time keeping up with new technologies, space needs and student support. The most important consideration is to make certain that you get a top-quality education that will allow you to compete with anyone. Even with these increases, your tuition and fees at UNT are less than they would be at most of our peer universities. You have my pledge that we will use every cent to your benefit and will be accountable to you in reporting how it was spent.
I know many of you are concerned that the increases will cause an increased economic burden on you and families. We are making sure to use part of the additional revenue to offer more need- and merit-based aid and scholarships. UNT has a strong financial aid and scholarship program to help students with educational costs, and we award more than $310 million in financial aid each year. On average, about 70 percent of a student’s financial need is met through financial aid and scholarships.
With the increase, an undergraduate resident student taking 15 hours will pay:
In addition, the board approved a 3.6 percent net increase in room and board rates to account for higher food, fuel and operational costs and to maintain the current level of service for housing operations. The rates will increase as follows:
Board Rates (excluding tax):
The rate increases are not just about our bottom line. They will help us continue to provide you with a high-quality educational experience with increased support in and out of the classroom so that you have access to the programs you want and the faculty and advising support you need to succeed. This is at the heart of the Four Bold Goals outlined in our new strategic plan. It also will help our university to maintain progress. As I said before, we plan to invest the money in key areas to:
It's never easy to ask students to shoulder more of the burden. But I'm a strong believer that a college education is a worthwhile investment with rewards that far outweigh the costs. Education enhances the quality of your life and career, and we want to make sure that you walk away well-prepared with a high-quality education.
V. Lane Rawlins
(Photo, Rawlins at a March 15 public hearing regarding tuition in the University Union.)
Posted on: Tue 27 March 2012