LAYTON — The Weber State Board of Trustees approved a tuition increase of 2 percent and a student fee increase of 3 percent at their board meeting Tuesday at the Weber State Davis campus.
This recommendation will “go forward to the state Board of Regents for their consideration and final approval,” Weber State President Brad Mortensen said at the meeting.
An undergraduate resident student enrolled in 15 credit hours would pay $2,495 per semester in tuition and $498.13 in fees during the 2019-2020 academic year.
This is $48.91 more in tuition and $14.51 more in fees per semester than a student enrolled in 15 credit hours paid during the 2018–2019 academic year.
The increases would go into effect for the summer term of 2019, according to Allison Hess, public relations director for the university.
Recommendations for tuition increases are based on the annual allocation determined by the state Legislature, which recently concluded its session.
“As it turned out, the legislative allocations were generous,” Mortensen said at the meeting. “Part of the legislative process, however, does build in or assume that we will increase tuition to help pay for 25 percent of the compensation package that they approve” as well as insurance charges and other changes determined by state agencies.
Of Weber State’s proposed 2 percent increase, 1.4 percent is related to these “built-in factors” from the Legislature, Mortensen said.
Another 0.33 percent will go toward need-based financial aid. The remaining amount — slightly more than 0.25 percent — is connected to compensation for faculty promotions and other costs that aren’t funded by the Legislature, like utilities.
Students were consulted as part of these changes.
On March 11, prior to the conclusion of the 2019 state legislative session, the university held a Truth in Tuition hearing, required by the state since 2002. This year the hearing was held during a regular student senate meeting in order to increase participation.
The student senate voted to support a tuition increase of 2–3 percent, depending on the allocations made by the state Legislature.
Other tuition changes are in store for students in particular programs.
Weber State currently charges a higher tuition rate for undergraduate students in upper division courses at the Goddard School of Business. As part of the recommended tuition changes, costs for these courses would decrease from $60 per credit hour to $30 per credit hour.
An upper division business or economics student enrolled in 15 credit hours would pay $401.09 less per semester.
Costs for the nursing program would increase about 9 percent to be comparable with the cost of other nursing programs in Utah. This increase would also provide additional funding for Weber State’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program.
“I’m really proud of them for staying at the lower end,” said Nolan Karras, chair of the Weber State Board of Trustees. “They probably couldn’t have gone lower. You really would have had trouble being below 2 percent just because of the mandates that are there because of the Legislature. So this is a humble way to try and keep student debt down and keep ... students in school.”
Students will also pay 3 percent more in student fees.
There are 10 students and two faculty members who sit on the committee that makes recommendations about student fees. The 3 percent increase had been discussed by the committee before being presented to the Weber State board.
The board approved the fee increase with little discussion of the primary reasons for the increase.
There were not significant changes in student fee allocations this year, but one notable change is the committee decided to discontinue the USA Today readership program and reallocate the cost of $10,000 to other areas.