By Tanner Anderson, Page Editor
The university has raised tuition since the 1990-91 school year, and that pattern will continue for the 2009 fall semester.
For the past four years, the tuition has increased by 7 percent, and students will see another 7 percent increase for the 2009 fall semester, paying about $640 per hour, which is about $40 more of the current costs. With this cost increase, students will pay $1,200 more for 30 hours than they did this year. Kelly Young, chief financial officer, said several factors decide tuition costs.
“We start planning tuition costs early,” Young said. “What we’re looking for is what families and students expect out of ACU and what our competitors are doing. We determine the price with those mix of questions.”
With the upcoming tuition increase and the current state of the economy, Young said ACU is preparing to work with students and their financial situations.
“We are working with the students to increase aid by working with local banks in town to ensure that students can borrow funds to stay in school in order for our current students to be well taken care of,” Young said.
New additions on campus, such as the newly renovated “World Famous Bean,” Bob and Shirley Hunter Welcome Center and JMC Network Student Media News Lab, and plans for a new recreation center may explain the constant tuition rise, but ACU has been funding these projects through donations and other means besides tuition, Young said.
He said a good portion of the students’ tuition is invested into the courses they take and other factors, including utilities, health benefits, the Mobile Learning Initiative and Study Abroad.
“Some of our strongest programs are our pre-med, pre-dental, the College of Business and Biblical Studies. These are places where we want to focus our dollars and constantly keep improving,” Young said.
Although tuition costs steadily have increased, ACU also has seen an increase in students. With 890 enrolled freshmen in 2007, ACU received 84 more students this year, creating the third largest enrollment class in six years with 974 students, according to an ACU press release.
Hilary Standish, junior psychology major from Austin, comes from a single-parent home and is paying for most of her tuition.
“I’ve got one more year left; I thought about transferring to the University of Texas freshman year because of tuition, but the experience here is unlike anywhere else,” Standish said.
While some students are contemplating their futures, some parents are considering their children’s future academic plans.
Standish said the university does try to equalize the increased tuition with other scholarships, but she said not enough scholarships are available.
Tamra Frazier has a son who is a freshman at Wylie High School who is interested in attending ACU.
“I’m not looking forward to the raises; it’s going to be sad in four years to see how the cost has grown,” Frazier said. “If he could get a scholarship, ACU would definitely be an option.”
posted 3/24/09 @ 10:09 AM CST
Here is my problem with the raise in tuition, its ridiculous that my tuition is raised with one semester left, they claim that tuition is lower than other private universities, yes but at least when they are paying higher tuition than we are their facilities are better than ours, you would think with tuition being so ridiculously high that they could maybe give the halls a paint job and replace the carpet. And if my tuition goes to things such as a welcome center, which we don’t need, and does not benefit me, I just wish acu could figure out how to properly manage their money and not claim that they are short money when they continue to build things and put random flat screen tv’s that no one really cares about
James M Green
posted 3/26/09 @ 12:19 AM CST
I am graduating, but it seems like everytime HSU or McMurry has a tuition increase, ACU is quick to follow, I guess assuming being the most expensive Christian University in town means better academics?
I loved the email that was sent, “all the other great universities are raising their rates (not quoted exactly) so we will raise ours.” If everyone jumps off a bridge or does drugs, will you do it?
We have this new welcome center, the expensive Jacobs dream, the new bean and campus center being remodeled, new education building, barrett dorm, all since I have been here, but tuition keeps on going up. People state that 60% of the money it costs to go here is donated…..well I am pretty sure the same is not true at Baylor, SMU, TCU, etc which are a little more expensive. I have already gotten letters to donate money, which I refuse to….I have enough loans.
What michael says, they have all these flatscreen TVs of the latest versions in all these buildings, which were playing football clips a month after ACU lost, which no one pays attention to. I am sure all these TVs around campus cost money.
Also the iphone thingy. I was mad about this, though the tuition increase was not linked supposendly, they should have made a deal to get a ipod touch or iphone dirt cheap with the tuition increase or provide one for every student with the increased rates.
I am not getting MY money’s worth
posted 3/30/09 @ 6:03 PM CST
I have heard from many, many on going sources that it is all donations that pay for things such as the welcome center, new bean, building ect. our tuition is obiously not paying for building because the building compared to the price we pay is very high. You go to a private school that is not government funded for the most part i do believe thus making school more expencieve. It was your choice to come here so suck it up and deal with it. Ya the tuition increase does suck i dont like it. but that is part of life.
You chose it You deal with it.
posted 4/13/09 @ 4:32 PM CST
ACU needs to be very cautious on continued tuition hikes. There comes a point and place where the risks of dollars invested in your child’s education outweighs the benefit one might receive from a solid college level education.
ACU does not need to mistake high quality student recruitment over the education offered as the mechanism to which their academic excellence is achieved. It’s simple math. You recruit high caliber students, your final product will be high achievers. These students were high achievers before they ever came to ACU. ACU graduates perform better in the market place due to their students character and intelligence.
If they allow their own pride to outweigh their current “good christian education for the dollar” market niche, then they will eventually reach a tipping point where they will be no better deal than a good public university.
Do not be confused with the fact that the top 50% at any public university can compete job to job and head to head with an ACU graduate. Where ACU excels over a good public university is the fact that their top to bottom student admission is going to average higher on ACT, SAT, and GPA than the same average top to bottom at a good public university. With that said, a high level GPA/ACT score student will excel wherever you place them.
My caution to ACU is to not cross that dollar value tipping point.