Students react to lowest tuition increase

Every year, tuition at John Brown University increases. On average, tuition will rise by approximately 4 or 5 percent. This year, JBU’s tuition rate only rose 3.36 percent, an all-record low for the university.

Annual tuition increase can be due to several things. A rise in utility costs, health care and the means to pay and keep qualified professors on campus are the main drivers.

With each rise in tuition comes an increased awareness by the students and faculty of the opportunities and challenges for current and incoming students to make ends meet.

Don Crandall, vice president for enrollment management, said, “JBU is a leader in initiatives to keep Christian higher education affordable. We are consistently rated a best value in the South by US News and World Report.”

JBU administration works to keep tuition increases to a minimum and avidly tries to find ways for students to pay for their enrollment while still keeping in mind the “value” of JBU in its comparison to higher prices.

“We work with the Advancement office on specific student situations that require additional funding,” said Kim Eldrige, associate vice president of enrollment.

“If our scholarship budget is spent then we know there are donors who want to see our students graduate, and they give their money to the scholarship program to help that student,” Eldrige said.

According to Hannah Bradford, an admissions officer at JBU, the value of an education from JBU is seen to far outweigh the cost.

She compared the school’s value to how one places value in purchasing a car.

“You could buy the cheapest car on the lot, but will it last? You have to look at more than just the dollar amount or the bottom line,” said Bradford.

With this type of value comes a dollar amount that, for some students, isn’t easy to match.

“Most all of the donor-related funds have a need component meaning that a student has to demonstrate need,” said Eldridge.

Over $13 million in scholarships were given out last year with the hope that it would keep JBU’s doors open to diverse income groups.

Many seniors have chosen to move off-campus next semester in order to save on tuition.

Senior McKenzie Raub said that she wants to not only be able to save money by living off-campus, but also find out what it’s like to manage herself out in the real world.

During her sophomore year she lived in Mayfield and was a resident assistant, which gave her the opportunity to invest in the community around her as well as be able to chip away a little at her tuition.

Bradford believes that students who feel called to attend JBU will find ways to make ends meet.

“Even after their freshman year and tuition has increased, God is still at work even in financial details,” Bradford said.

“In my 5 years at JBU, I’ve seen God come through in some pretty cool ways through JBU and outside financial help to make it work for families and for students to stay at JBU,” Bradford said.