Temple students will feel the effects of recent state cutbacks in college aid starting next semester.
Housing costs are set to increase beginning next semester and tuition will also go up following the Board of Trustees meeting in June. University officials have recently agreed upon an average increase of 4.5 percent in the cost of on-campus housing.
According to the Office of University Housing Web site, the rates for 2001-2002 were between $2169 to $2894 a semester. Students will have to pay $100 extra per semester next year.
“The costs are partially to offset the recent cutbacks by the state,” said James Fitzsimmons, Dean of Students. “We’re still playing around with the numbers for tuition, but nothing has been decided yet.”
In Temple’s case, this means a loss of about $9 million in state aid at the end of the upcoming 2002-03 school year. The first phase of the plan went into action last month and Temple will lose about $5.5 million in aid at the end of this fiscal year in June. Temple rode it out this year because enrollment was higher than normal.
Tuition increases are also expected to help offset the new cuts in funding, but no specific amount has been agreed upon. Legislation regarding the next financial year is still pending in Harrisburg and will not be passed until June, at the latest.
“We still don’t know how much tuition will increase next year,” Financial Affairs Vice President Martin Dorph said. “It’s going to be a tough year next year and tuition, unfortunately, will have to be called upon to help fill the hole in the budget.”
Rumors have spread that the increase could be anywhere from 10 to 15 percent.
“The most important thing for us to do now is to focus on what we have at this time and what we are able to work with for next year,” Dorph said. “No decisions have been made about tuition. We have to wait until the legislation passes before we officially do anything, and that won’t be until June.”
Dorph and the University Board of Trustees will meet immediately following the passing of the legislation to determine the tuition increase. Dorph, in an earlier interview, said that the main goal for Temple during this financial setback is to maintain the same academic and occupational integrity it had before the cuts were announced.
“We are going to become as cost effective as we can be. Saving on the margin will include things like filling all room vacancies, which will bring in additional money without cutting anything out of the operating budget,” he said. “We will not shirk on academic programs or on the employees to fix the problem.”
The increases in both tuition and housing costs will not be permanent, but the budget will have to be reevaluated and restructured for the next two or three years to accommodate the changes.
The University will release more details about the impending tuition increase as they are worked out.
Eric Raible can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org