Zaakirah Mujid

News Editor  

budget
This is a part of the series on the University’s struggles and successes with finances/enrollment.

The Board of Trustees voted to freeze tuition and fees for the upcoming 2019-20 school year. This decision may work to advance the University’s enrollment numbers.

Tuition and fees for next year will remain at $34,290. Now tuition/fees during last year’s academic calendar (2017-18) were at $33,900, according to BenU’s Undergraduate Catalog. The difference in the dollar increase is $390, or about 1.2%.

This newly announced tuition freeze is estimated to save students roughly $600 to $1000 next year, said President Gregory during his Tuition Freeze Announcement.

Students will be relieved to find that those numbers on estimated savings mentioned by Gregory show that tuition could have increased by about 1.8% ($600) up to a staggering 3.0% ($1000), a not so subtle increase compared to last year’s tuition increase of 1.2%.

President Gregory and the Board of Trustees made a conscious decision, knowing well on how much money the University will be missing out on. However, its effects may be more positive, since it may help to gain the attention of prospective freshmen students, as well as help with retention rates, since increasing tuition/fees may lead students to transfer.

Enrollment numbers failed to meet estimations for the Fall ‘17 to Spring ‘18 school year, according to a December 2017 memo sent from BenU Administrators. More on previous enrollment numbers may be found here.

The Candor attempted to attain Fall ‘18 and Spring ‘19 overall enrollment numbers, but the request was declined until further higher approval. What was provided for ‘18-‘19 were:

  • “BenU is retaining more of its current students compared to previous.”
  • “The incoming freshmen class for Fall ‘18 was larger than Fall ‘17’s.”

According to Karen Campana, Chief Retention Officer

With official enrollment numbers (for undergraduate students in traditional programs) not provided yet, many are left to speculate on if the tuition freeze is due to consistently low enrollment numbers, and if so, what are some estimations as to how the freeze will contribute in a positive way?

“We want to [work] with our students to figure out how we can make things more affordable and freezing tuition for next year is step one of that,” said Campana. “We want graduates [students to choose BenU and stay all the way through until they get that degree].”

Student Sheikh Faysal contributed to this article.