Weber State seeks 5 percent tuition increase

Mar 20 2012 - 6:35pm

OGDEN -- Weber State University will seek permission from the Board of Regents to increase student tuition and fees in time for the summer semester.

If approved, the 5 percent increase in tuition and 4.2 percent increase in student fees would cost the average full-time undergraduate resident an additional $110.54 per semester. The average full-time undergraduate nonresident would pay an additional $303.35 per semester. Full time is calculated as 15 credit hours.

"We have tried very hard to keep tuition increases modest at Weber State University," said Norm Tarbox, WSU vice president for administrative services. "We are the least-expensive public university in the state of Utah, and if these recommended increases are approved, we will still be the least-expensive public university in the state of Utah."

Tarbox said the proposed increases, approved Tuesday by the WSU Board of Trustees, are required to help pay for a variety of cost increases to WSU.

"The university has inflationary pressures and requirements just like other organizations," Tarbox said. "The Legislature funded a 1 percent salary increase for university employees, but we are required to provide a third of the amount. The salary action has set us up to need a tuition increase. It happens every year."

Tarbox said Weber State also is facing a large increase in rates from Rocky Mountain Power.

"That is not funded by the Legislature," he said. "We are also facing cost increases in the state retirement program, so they are mandated costs."

Tarbox said the Board of Regents grants universities' requests more often than not, although he cannot predict what the Regents will decide in this case. The next Board of Regents meeting is March 30, when WSU's request is likely to be considered.

If approved as requested, full-time undergraduate tuition and fees for residents will be $2,384.06 per semester, starting with summer semester, which begins May 7. For full-time nonresident undergraduates, the new cost will be $6,432.54 per semester.

Last spring, Weber State increased its tuition 6 percent and student fees 3 percent.

"This is the lowest tuition increase we have recommended in three or four years," Tarbox said. "We know most of our students are working, struggling to stay in school. We only make increases when we absolutely have to. Our motivation, over time, is to keep Weber State University as affordable as possible."

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