ASU trustees approve tuition, fee rates
by Anna Oakes
The Appalachian State University Board of Trustees on Friday approved a slate of recommended tuition and fee rates for the 2014-15 academic year, which will be considered by the UNC system Board of Governors in February.
Most students at ASU will not see an increase in tuition next year, with the exception of a 6 percent increase for out-of-state undergraduate students.
"(UNC system) President (Tom) Ross and the UNC Board of Governors asked the campuses to forego tuition increases for the 2014-15 year because of increases in previous years," said Greg Lovins, vice chancellor for business affairs at ASU.
"The General Assembly passed legislation requiring the tuition increase for undergraduate non-resident students," Lovins said. "But, campuses don't get to keep the proceeds; they will be used to offset budget cuts passed by the General Assembly for 2014-15."
For in-state undergrads and all graduate students, tuition rates will remain at this year's levels, which are $3,772 for in-state undergrads, $4,303 for in-state graduates and $16,248 for out-of-state graduates. The 6 percent bump for out-of-state undergraduate students raises their tuition to $16,939.
In addition, the trustees approved a $91 increase to student fees in 2014-15.
A $6 increase to the educational and technology fee would bring the yearly total to $495. Lovins said the increase would cover "what we hope will be salary increases for employees paid from that fund." State leaders have hinted at a salary increase for state employees next year, he said, and if the General Assembly enacts a salary increase, universities are required to do so for all employees even if their salaries are not funded through state appropriations.
The athletics fee would increase $33 to $698 per year. The increase was requested to help cover several items in the Athletics Department operating budget, including increases in scholarship costs ($225,000), anticipated staff salary increases ($125,000), a new sales tax on meal plans ($25,000), additional student seating at football games ($50,000) and increased costs of team travel ($100,000).
ASU moves to the Sun Belt Conference in 2014, with opponents in Georgia, Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, Idaho and New Mexico.
In addition, a $33 increase to the athletics facilities debt service fee was approved by the trustees for continued debt service on the expansion of Kidd Brewer Stadium and other athletics facilities. Students would pay $180 for that fee in 2014-15, if approved.
A $10 increase to the educational, recreational and Renewable Energy Initiative programs fee was recommended and approved for improvements to State Farm recreational fields, bringing that fee up to $358 per year.
A 5 percent increase to meal plans would bring the cost of a standard
meal plan up to $2,510. The increased revenue would cover a new sales tax on
meal plans and increased personnel costs. Housing fees would also increase by
$170 on average, with totals depending on room size and amenities. A standard
room would cost $4,170. Revenue from the increase would be used to fund the
demolition of Winkler Hall, increased personnel costs and the renovation or
replacement of East Hall.