Spring 2021 Semester tuition questions answered

The University of Utah will implement a previously approved 2% tuition rate increase for the Spring 2021 semester. The increase was approved by the Utah State Board of Regents (now the Utah Board of Higher Education) in March 2020 but was postponed by the university for the summer and fall 2020 semesters.

A $150 reduction in mandatory student fees, as well as a waiver of the $60 registration fee for online classes, will continue for the Spring 2021 Semester.

What is the basis for this 2% increase?

In March 2020, the Utah Board of Regents approved the U’s proposal for a 2% tuition increase and 0% increase in student fees from the previous year. On average, the increase for a student taking 15 credit hours will be about $165 for the semester.

Why is the U reducing its mandatory student fee?

The 25% discount on student fees is meant to support student access, retention and completion during the COVID-19 pandemic. On average, a student carrying a full-time class load at the U pays $624 a semester in fees in addition to tuition. The fee discount will not be taken from any specific fee but will reduce students’ overall fees. 

Why can’t the U discount tuition due to the pandemic or at least continue to postpone the tuition increase?

As a public institution, the university works to operate as close to actual costs as possible. A reduction in tuition would impact the number of courses we are able to offer, directly impacting our students’ ability to graduate on time in the area they choose. 

How is the U making up for the shortfall in tuition and controlling expenses?

The U has made up for the shortfall by utilizing rainy day funds, delaying the hiring of many open staff positions, delaying salary increases, delaying capital construction and renovation projects, and delaying equipment purchases. The U has also restricted travel and reduced the use of outside consultant contracts.

How much does the U receive in tuition funds compared to state appropriations?

Annual student tuition and fees are roughly equal to state appropriations in the university’s budget—approximately $367 million each. More on the U’s overall budget is available via its annual financial report.

How are other colleges and universities in the Utah System of Higher Education handling tuition increases?

The U and Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) were the only state institutions that delayed implementation of approved tuition increases. Like the U, SLCC is implementing its approved tuition increase for the spring semester. To see a full list of state schools and their approved tuition changes, visit the Utah System of Higher Education.