December 6, 2016

Webster University to increase tuition

Most Webster students will see a three percent increase in tuition in the fall. Military students will not have their tuitions raised.

Jim Brasfield, a professor at Webster University, believes the tuition increase will not affect student enrollment.

“Will that discourage people from coming, I would think not,” said Brasfield “three percent isn’t a huge increase. It’s not like a 10 or 15 or 20 percent increase.”

This increase is included in projected revenue of $208.7 million for the 2016 fiscal year, compared to $206.7 million in projected expenses. 

Webster has made $8 million in cuts for the 2016 fiscal year.

The university plans to save $4.4 million through administration and staff reduction. It expects to save $2.2 million by leaving vacant positions open.

The university cut $1.7 million in travel, entertainment, equipment and supplies. The university hopes to save $1.2 million from class scheduling initiatives by limiting the number of classes that have enrollment under 10 students.

That number gives the university $2 million in an operating ‘reserve.’  This is the difference between revenue and expense.

In previous years, Webster preferred to hold five percent—or $10 million—in the operating reserve. 

Anything less than five percent can affect an organization’s bond rating, as well as the cost of borrowing money.

Brasfield claims a smaller operating reserve in the projected budget is due to conservative budget planning.

“The projections were fairly conservative. They took last year’s enrollment and did 98 percent of that.

Budgeting a 2 percent enrollment decline is pretty conservative,” Brasfield said. “If they come up with exactly what it was last year, then they’ll be some million dollars to the better.”

Brasfield believes just because the operating reserve is lower than it has been, doesn’t mean the school can’t make more than what they projected.

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