The Boston College Board of Trustees has approved the budget for the 2012-2013 academic year, including a 3.6 percent increase in tuition, fees, and room and board. The increase brings the tuition total to $43,140.
The increase in fees will provide $7 million for academic and infrastructure initiatives and will help support the University’s Strategic Master Plan.
“In preparing the FY [Fiscal Year] ’13 budget, the University made every effort to limit the tuition increase, while maintaining our commitment to academic excellence, recruiting and retaining quality faculty, and enhancing our student formation programs and the residential life experience of our students,” said University President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J.
BC was not the only university to increase tuition this year. George Washington University, Carnegie Mellon University, Dartmouth College, Cornell University, University of Notre Dame, Brown University, and Georgetown University all increased tuition between 3.5 percent and 4.9 percent. The average increase for private institutions across America was 4.6 percent, according to the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
Overall, the approved budget for BC increased spending by roughly 2 percent, bringing total University expenditures to $862 million for the next academic year.
“This $862 million budget represents an increase of just 2 percent over last year’s operating budget,” said Executive Vice President Patrick Keating. “The University continues to undertake a comprehensive assessment of academic and administrative departments in an effort to improve efficiencies. Through careful assessment and planning, we have managed to reduce costs without undermining our strategic goals for academics, student formation, and facilities.”
In light of the rising cost of higher education nationally, the University has enacted measures to reduce waste and reduce spending. The University has used aggressive energy consumption programs to save more than $1 million annually, and modified post-retirement benefits to save $2 million annually.
In addition, the University has established the Operational Efficiencies Program (OEP) and Administrative Program Review (APR), both of which hope to reduce costs.
“We are cognizant of the sacrifice that families face in educating their children at top ranked universities such as Boston College and we are committed to limiting tuition increases through extensive assessment of all of our programs,” said University Spokesman Jack Dunn.
The APR was launched in 2006 as part of the Strategic Plan, and works on a seven-year cycle to assess and improve spending by individual departments at BC. The five-step process includes sequences of self-study, external review by peer experts from other universities, and implementation of action plans to cut spending.
Similarly, the goal of the OEP is to reduce University spending by $11 million over four years. The OEP focuses on areas like overtime practices, summer programming, printing and media expenditures, and competitive procurement bid processes.
Despite these attempts to cut spending, the University needed additional funds to remain need blind in admissions while meeting full demonstrated need of undergraduates. The new budget accounts for a 6.4 percent increase in need-based undergraduate financial aid, bringing the total to $90 million.
“This budget limits cost increases without sacrificing any of the programs that have helped Boston College to emerge as one of the nation’s best universities,” Dunn said.