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Seven schools slightly up tuition despite freeze

Some colleges, schools must up tuition to operate specialty programs.

Although Temple’s base tuition was kept level for the current fiscal year, some schools and programs still saw a tuition increase.

Thanks to a base tuition freeze made possible by a leveled state appropriation, the majority of students in the university saw their tuition stay the same this year — $13,006 for in-state students and $22,832 for out-of-state students. But, seven schools within the university faced an increased, or differential, tuition rate.

The Boyer College of Music and Dance, the School of Media and Communication, the College of Engineering, the College of Science and Technology, the Fox School of Business, the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management and the Tyler School of Art’s architecture and fine arts programs saw a slight increase in tuition for this year, according to a summary for approved and active tuition differentials.

In addition to these schools seeing an undergraduate tuition increase, their graduate programs also saw an increase per credit ranging from $20 to $36 for in-state students.

The tuition differentials were held constant for in-state and out-of-state students in every school that saw a tuition increase except for Fox and the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, where out-of-state students’ undergraduate tuition differential was nearly double that of their in-state counterparts. Out-of-state graduate students also saw a raise per credit of $13 more than in-state students in these two schools.

When asked why more specialized schools saw an increase in tuition, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Anthony Wagner said the equipment used in those schools makes them more expensive to operate.

“You go over to the Tyler School [of Art] and walk through the building and look at the equipment that they use, look at the material that they use everyday in their classes, and it’s just more expensive to provide that instruction,” Wagner said. “All majors are not created equal in that regard.”

Senior Vice Provost of Undergraduate Studies Peter Jones said that more in-depth attention to students within the schools adds to the cost of them.

“There are all sorts of reasons [for an increased tuition],” Jones said. “For example, if you find yourself in [Fox] or in Tyler, then you’ll find yourself in a lot more one-on-one instruction.”

Schools cannot raise tuition at will, however, Wagner said. He said that there are four main criteria that the university looks at when considering differential tuitions that include whether the costs exceed that of others in the university, a plan for use of the additional revenue that will favorably impact students, the identification of performance measures that could be used to validate the achievement of the potential outcome and that there’s a favorable market that reflects demand and favorable pricing at other institutions.

After obtaining a differential tuition, Wagner said that the college is expected to come back and show what they’ve gained through that increase.

“Once a differential is in place, we’re looking for the college to come back and show what they’ve accomplished with those additional dollars.” Wagner said. “At the end of the day  this is focused on the students. [We’re asking] ‘Is this going to improve their academic experience?’”

Wagner added that even though these schools saw an increase in tuition, everyone benefitted from a level base tuition, because the base tuition applies to every student as opposed to differentials.

“The base tuition staying the same is a big deal because there’s a significant number of our students that all they pay is the base tuition,” Wagner said. “So, the base tuition applies to everybody and the differential would on top of that. Literally, every undergraduate student at Temple benefitted from no base tuition increase.”

Jones added that the tuition is fair with regard to what they’re getting in return.

“Is a student at Temple now paying a dollar more than they should?” Jones said. “The answer is no.”

Of the tuition differentials for this year, in-state students saw the most substantial increase in Tyler’s architecture program. Its in-state tuition rose $700 this year, to $14,332.

The smallest increae in tuition came in SMC, which saw a $300 raise in tuition, bringing its in-state tuition from the base tuition of $13,006, to its current rate of $13,306.

Khoury Johnson can be reached at khoury.john@temple.edu.

Sean Carlin contributed to this report. 

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