Updated: March 29, 2022
On March 24, the Utah Board of Higher Education approved tuition and general fee adjustments requested by state colleges and universities. The University of Utah proposed a 4.8% increase for the average full-time undergraduate resident student.
NOTE: For full-time resident undergraduates taking at least one online class each semester, the tuition increase adds up to 3.6% due to the elimination of the $60 online course fee.
Along with its peer institutions across the state, university leaders raised tuition to meet the legislative requirement to fund compensation increases, fund faculty tenure and promotion, and support faculty and staff salary equity and retention with tuition funding. This year, Utah lawmakers approved up to a 5.75 percent raise for state employees, but only funded 75% of the increase. Higher education institutions had to fund the other 25% of those raises with tuition increases.
As Utah’s economy booms and workforce competition grows, the U has struggled to keep moderate income employees, President Taylor Randall said. Over the past year, the university’s turnover rate among employees making $50,000 or less annually is 57 percent. The 2022-23 tuition increase will help recruit and retain workers critical to student services, including those working in advising, housing and food services, Randall said.
At the same time, the university cut the $4.70 annual union fee, as well as the $60 online course fee. With those adjustments, tuition for a full-time resident undergraduate taking at least one online course a semester will total $5,143 for 15 hours.
University of Utah student tuition and fees for the 2022-2023 school year are scheduled to increase by between 3 and 6 percent.
University leaders held the 2022 Truth in Tuition hearing March 1 to discuss the change—watch the recording of the hearing below. Fees will decrease by 0.4% or $2.35, with the elimination of the Student Union fee. At the same time, tuition will go up by $258.85 per semester for a full-time undergraduate student. For a student taking 15 credit hours, the tuition bill would increase from $4,314.15 during the 2021-2022 school year to $4,573 during the 2022-2023 school year.
“Student tuition and fees are critical to the health and sustainability of this institution,” said Martell Teasley, senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “Without those education investments—made student-by-student and family-by-family—we would not be able to provide the exceptional education, innovative research and community engagement the U is known for.”
Like the rest of the state of Utah, the university is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic and facing significant growing pains. Salaries and hiring were frozen for 15 months, and the university has a current backlog of 587 unfilled positions.
With two years of record enrollment growth, and projections for another record freshman class in the fall of 2022, university leaders say the tuition increase is essential to allow hiring of additional instructors and retention of existing faculty in an increasingly competitive marketplace. In an effort to strengthen recruitment and retention of those faculty and staff, the university has proposed an overall increase in tuition and fees of 5.2 percent next year. The increase in tuition will provide raises up to 3 percent in the coming year.
“We’ve been fortunate to continue to grow the university and we’re starting to see signs of another busy fall,” said Mark Winter, associate vice president of Academic Affairs. “Three years of record class sizes have created a need to hire more faculty to teach additional classes, so students don’t have bottleneck courses in their path to graduating in four years.”
University leaders note the importance of staff and faculty in helping students complete their undergraduate degrees within a critical 4 to 6-year window. A student who graduates after seven years will end up paying about $47,600 in tuition—$8,700 more than a student who finishes in four years. Equally important: the same student will have missed out on the chance to earn approximately $60,000 in salary due to spending three more years in college.
At the same time, President Taylor Randall has committed to raise additional scholarship funding and help students maximize federal financial aid options. During the 2020-2021 school year, the U provided more than $125 million in scholarship stipends and facilitated another $303 million in financial aid packages.
“The future of this institution depends on thinking of new ways to do things as we innovate higher education in our state and grow our campus community,” Teasley said
The presentation is available for download here.