No Tuition or Fee Increase at Southern Utah University

Published: March 29, 2019 | Read Time: 2 minutes

students walking on campusFor the first time in 42 years, Southern Utah University will not be increasing its tuition or student fees. On Friday, March 29, the Utah Board of Regents approved Southern Utah University’s tuition proposal, making SUU the only school in the Utah System for Higher Education that isn’t raising tuition and/or student fees. It’s been more than two decades since any college or university in Utah hasn’t raised tuition and/or fees.

“We worked diligently on the budget and reviewed all of our operating expenses,” said SUU President Scott L Wyatt. “Our goal is to keep school affordable, help students get into college and complete their degree.”

According to USHE, each year following the Legislative session, the Board of Regents determines whether additional tuition revenue is required to meet the operating budget needs and help fulfill the institutional mission and role for the each of the USHE institutions. In November 2018, the Board altered its tuition-setting process and removed the old two-tiered tuition structure, which gave SUU the opportunity to present a no increase tuition and fee proposal.

After an extensive and thorough review of the budget along with open budget forums with faculty and staff, SUU administration found areas where they can shift resources and be more financially efficient.

“As an administration, our ongoing commitment is to be responsible with the student and state funding we have stewardship over,” said Vice President for Finance and Administration Marvin Dodge. “Cost saving discussions are ongoing at campus, including leadership meetings, to ensure we are meeting the needs of our students in a costs effective manner. Our collective efforts aided in reaching this point where we can keep tuition the same for next year.”

“We are tightening our belts on administrative expenses while maintaining funding for student requested needs,” said Wyatt. “The student body asked for a general student fee increase, but instead of having the student population pay more in fees we decided to absorb their request into the overall university budget. We were able to add more academic advisors, a mental health counselor and more faculty positions. Student needs come first.”

SUU’s Student Body President, D’Mia Lamar, is very impressed with the university’s commitment to put student needs first and commends the administration for their efforts to make college affordable.

“The university's determination not to increase tuition is incredibly commendable,” said Lamar. “Being a student comes with many, many challenges. Removing the challenge of paying a higher rate of tuition will benefit every student at SUU. It may even be the tipping point for those who may not have otherwise been able to enroll or return. As Thunderbirds, we are extremely proud to attend a university that listens to, recognizes, and addresses the needs and desires of its student body.”

The tuition rate proposals for the USHE institutions range from 0 – 5 percent with an overall system average tuition rate increase of 2.46 percent. SUU is the only school in USHE to propose a zero percent increase while Dixie State has the highest increase at 5 percent.

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