|Budget Recommendation: Tuition Increases by 5.6%|
On Monday, March 19th, at 7PM in Grace Covell Hall President Pamela A. Eibeck held a Budget Recommendation Town Hall meeting to inform students, faculty, and staff on the upcoming budget changes at the Stockton campus for the upcoming 2012-2013.
Next year, undergraduate tuition will increase from $36,290 to $38,320; this is an increase of $2,030 a year or 5.6 percent. Room and Board will also be increasing by 3 percent. Pacific still has the lowest tuition rate comparatively to the California Eight Schools [colleges like Pepperdine University]; however, the university does have the highest percentage increase rate comparatively.
Pacific is dedicated to helping current students with this increase by expanding the work-study program because of the cut that the federal government made to the program in the recent year and provide Gap Grants to students that are close to being able to pay off their tuition but just need a little more help.
Pacific is concerned about the proposed cut of 44 percent to Cal Grants for private universities because currently the university has 1,350 undergraduate students relying on Cal Grants.
“We cannot fill in that gap. That is a 5.7 million dollar drop in financial aid that goes to our students, and this is a very significant problem,” said President Eibeck. “First let me assure you that if your Cal Grant is reduced, we will not reduce the institutional aid we provide to you. You may know that we talk about matching Cal Grants; in fact we do more than matching to Cal Grants, the average Cal Grant recipient at Pacific receives $17,500 in scholarships and grant funds, in other words money you don’t have to pay back, in addition to their Cal Grant…If your Cal Grant gets cut as a student you will still keep the rest of the institutional aid from the university.”
President Eibeck also reviewed the increased spending for the Stockton campus. She expects Pacific’s expenses to increase based on an increase in mandatory expenses, including salaries and benefits, investments to “improve the quality of the university”, and provide more financial aid for the students.
“The bottom line: We are spending 2.7 million on financial aid for our students, freshmen and continuing students, mandatory increases: about 1.6 million, salaries and benefits: about 3.8 million, and investments to improve the education we are providing…875 thousand,” explained President Eibeck.
These expense increases add up to a little less than 9 million dollars, which is about a million dollars less than the anticipated revenues. During a normal year, the university would also invest the million dollars, however, because of the “threat to Cal Grants” the university plans to set that money aside.
Next year the school plans to invest firstly in two new professors, one in accounting and the other for physical therapy, provide more experience of pharmacy students in clinics, increase psychiatry services for the students, add an enrollment councilor for veteran students, and improve the web search engine on Pacific’s website. Secondly, the university would like to add a new engineering faculty position, a dietitian and nutritionist, hire a webcoordinator, secure the Latino outreach support, and provide $40,000 to help funding for student events.
On March 23rd, President Eibeck will be giving her recommendations to the Board of Regents who will then speak with ASuop as a representation of the student body on April 5th. If students would like to give feedback, they are recommended to talk to current ASuop President Ashton Datcher.