Boston University’s tuition and room and board rates have increased by 3.7 percent for the 2014-15 academic year, an escalation below the national average for four-year private research universities.
BU President Robert Brown announced Friday in an email to members of the BU community that the upsurge — a 3.9 percent tuition increase and an average 3 percent increase in the cost of room and board — resulted from a budgeting decision that aimed to continue to “raise the quality of a Boston University education and improve support services while expanding our capacity to offer financial assistance.”
Several students said they were concerned with the cost of tuition and room and board at BU.
“It’s difficult because when you first come here, you have a scholarship, and you’re like, OK, this is how much I’ll pay,” said Eliza Reddick, a College of Arts and Sciences senior. “But every year, it increases. Every year I have to take out more loans, so it’s always more inconvenient for me.”
BU spokesman Colin Riley said a majority of students who received financial aid this year would likely see an increase in their aid proportional to the increase of the tuition rate.
The Board of Trustees set the cost of tuition for the 2014-15 academic school year at $45,686 — up from $43,970 — and raised the basic room and board rate from $13,620 to $14,030.
“The operating budget is over $2 billion,” Riley said. “Just think of the cost of providing faculty, providing academic support, providing housing, dining … There’s just so many wonderfully positive things taking place at this campus, and they shouldn’t be lost when people recognize that there’s an increased cost of attending.”
The university aimed to control expenses both in and outside of the classroom, Brown said.
“We know parents and students make substantial sacrifices to pay tuition at Boston University,” Brown said in the email. “We remain committed to our mission of high-quality education and will continue to address the challenges of balancing quality and cost that go with this commitment.”
Brown said the university expected to provide financial aid to 51 percent of BU students in the coming academic year, and that building endowment to support financial aid is a major objective of the BU Campaign, designed to raise over $1 billion for the university.
Victoria Liquori, a junior in Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, said she was unsurprised by the increased cost of attending BU.
“Sometimes BU has that connotation of squeezing every dollar they can out of you,” she said. “Everything I get is in loans, so I just have to keep paying more and more back, and it’s a lot on my parents that they have to pay because they have to make up the difference. It just sucks, but I wasn’t shocked when I saw it.”
Riley said the rates of tuition and room and board increased not only due to enhanced amenities.
“The improvements in facilities is just one thing, but the quality of the faculty has improved,” Riley said. “With it, we’ve seen an increase in the caliber of the student body, the applicants and continued interest in and reputation of Boston University.”
CAS junior Gagan Gautam said he felt the increase was unfair.
“I’m still waiting for the email that says we’re going to keep it the same, instead of increasing it every year,” he said. “I feel like it’s not in my control, but hopefully it eventually reaches a bubble because students can’t be paying that much.”