Tuition costs break $30,000 mark

The University announced Wednesday an increase in tuition and fees for the 2013-2014 academic year. Students must pay a total cost of $30,996 to attend the University next year, a 4.45 percent increase over this year’s amount. The graduate and degree completion programs will receive a 4 percent increase.

The breakdown includes a $940 increase in tuition, $360 increase in room and board and a $20 increase in fees. The increase in room and board can be mostly attributed to the newly appointed food service provider, Creative Dining Services, whose improvement plans will be partially funded from students’ wallets.

Despite the increase, the University remains positive toward its offering. A recent press release reported it was the lowest percentage increase in 25 years.

“John Brown University continues to remain one of the best values in higher education,” said Don Crandall, vice president for enrollment management. “JBU’s cost to excellence ratio continues to make the University very attractive to prospective students seeking a high-quality, faith-based private education, which is why we’ve seen consistent, solid enrollment.”

Kelsey Daugherty, president of Student Government Association, also found the increase “reasonable.”

“Is it something students are happy about? No,” she said. “Any increase is a bummer, but it … is being put to very good use to keep JBU running at the level students expect.”

The announcement Wednesday also stated the University awarded $12.2 million in scholarships this year and has budgeted an 11 percent increase in scholarship aid for the 2013-2014 academic year.

“The administration, faculty and staff are committed to doing our best to hold the line on the cost of attending college,” said Kim Hadley, vice president for finance and administration. “Additionally, our enrollment and advancement teams continue to work hard to identify scholarship resources to be awarded on both merit and need.”

Sophomore Gabrielle Bromling said she is moderately concerned about tuition costs rising.

“I wish that we could put more money toward keeping tuition down than renovating the school, but I understand there must be a balance,” she said. “It just seems that in a society where degrees mean less, college should not cost more… This means that when I graduate, I will have to pay more loans off with a small income because the economy is bad. It just seems like this generation is caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to life after high school.”