Beginning this Fall, tuition for all undergraduate students at Boston University will increase by 4.25%, the largest increase in 14 years, President Robert Brown wrote in a letter to faculty and staff on May 6.
The increase will bring tuition prices to $61,050 from last year’s $58,560, and the new estimated total will be $79,760 including tuition, room and board and other fees. The 4.25% increase is 1.25% higher than last year’s increase of 3%.
Brown wrote in the letter that his “greatest immediate concern” is the impact of inflation, which prompted the higher percent increase in tuition. In April, inflation of the Consumer Price Index — a pricing measure of consumer goods and services — was over 8% and increasing rapidly in the United States.
“This increase does not keep pace with the current national rate of inflation and cannot fully offset the increased costs of University operations or fund salary increases that would fully mitigate the effects of inflation on the families of faculty and staff,” Brown wrote.
Ella Moran, a rising sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, said if the 4.25% rise in costs is not covered by her scholarships, she will have to work more to cover it.
“I don’t think anyone is particularly excited about having to pay more money to go to a school that we already paid quite a lot of money to go to,” Moran said.
While BU meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for first-year U.S. citizens and permanent residents, need-based aid is not available for international students who make up over 20% of BU’s undergraduate students.
Jess So, an international student the Philippines who is a rising sophomore in the College of Communication, said she will have to learn how to budget in order to match the increased tuition.
“Coming from a pretty big family, it will be a bit harder to match because [coming to BU] was already a pretty big deal,” So said.
Brown wrote that he acknowledges the impact this increase will have on students and their families.
“I also am mindful that our students and their families are affected by our increases and by inflation,” Brown wrote. “We are caught in an inflationary vise between the institutional pressures and the impact on our students and their families.”
Rising CAS sophomore Sevillana Ettinger said her scholarship should cover a portion of her tuition regardless of the price change, which has saved her family a lot of stress.
“Before I found out I was getting the scholarship, my family was not looking forward to having to pay increasingly high tuition for both me and my two other siblings,” Ettinger said. “That was a huge relief for us, just financially.
As the letter from Brown was addressed to faculty and staff, So said she received no direct communication from the University regarding the hike in tuition.
“It would also be good for the University to be transparent next time,” So said. “As much as it is good that BU is looking out for their students in other ways, we are technically still paying them. It’s also good to know that they’re also looking out for us.”
Xiaoya Shao contributed to the reporting of this article.