By Cindy Held/Contributing writer
Most students’ fears of a tuition increase were confirmed on Tuesday during the Faculty Senate budget forum. Ken Johnston, vice president for financial affairs and treasurer, said the university will go forth with a sizable tuition increase for students in order to help handle budget cuts and holdbacks the state has imposed.
Johnston said he does not know yet how much the increase will be.
During the forum Johnston explained fixed expenditure increases for the university are approximately $5 million, and there is a current revenue of only $1.1 million. To offset this difference the university plans to raise revenue.
How to raise revenue was one of the main topics of the forum. There are two major sources of revenue, Johnston said – state appropriations and tuition.
Sources for increased funds will be re-allocation of budgets, so plans are being looked at to re-allocate non-instructional budgets.
Also other areas in which Eastern hopes to generate some revenue is with the increase of the current tuition rate.
He said some expenditures which will also add to the increase are university scholarships, faculty promotion, bank fees, debt reduction services, workman’s compensation, debt service for the electrical distribution project and general insurance increases.
Johnston also said that one desired expenditure, among many, the university hopes to achieve, is the forming of need-based scholarships since all current university scholarships are merit based.
“We do see the need to set aside some money that would be need-based,” Johnston said. “That would help us address some of the effects of tuition increases would have on those students who may be in the gray area – not so needy that the federal scholarships will take care of everything and not so wealthy that they can take care of themselves.”
Johnston said Eastern currently has the lowest tuition of any public university in the state, which hinders the university when competing with others in the state, and that Eastern has the eighth lowest tuition rate of a public university in the country.
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