BYU Tuition Below Average

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    By Andrew Pete

    In comparison to private universities across the country, BYU is still well below the national average for tuition costs – a statistic students can be thankful for.

    In the College Board”s annual report “Trends in College Pricing,” tuition and fees rose 5.9 percent for private four-year colleges to $22,218. The report indicated the increase in tuition has slowed over the past three years, but tuition prices still remain 35 percent higher than they were 5 years ago.

    BYU”s tuition and fees rose during the 2006-07 school year to $3,620 for full-time LDS students and $7,240 for full-time Non-LDS students. Last year, the costs were $3,410 and $5,116 respectively.

    An increase in university expenses is a major reason why there was a raise in tuition and fees for this year.

    “We look at our anticipated expense increase and consider that when we set the tuition rates,” said Paul Behrmann, budget director for BYU. “The Board of Trustees has always been concerned on the impact of students and their families when we make all these decisions.”

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owns and operates BYU, which is one of the nation”s largest private universities. A significant portion of the costs associated with tuition and fees is paid for by the tithes of the Church”s members, creating a relatively inexpensive university in comparison with national four-year private universities.

    “I”m grateful that tuition is as low as it is,” said Meghan Reneer, a facilities management major from Richmond, Va. “I don”t know any other university where you can get a quality education at such a low cost each semester.”

    This year, BYU was ranked 19th overall in the category “Great Schools, Great Prices” by the U.S. News and World Report.

    The Board”s report also found a boost in the amount of student aid given, helping ease the burden of increase tuition hikes for students. Total student aid grew to $134.8 billion in 2005-06, a 3.7 percent jump from last year, but total federal grant money did not keep up with inflation, with the average Pell Grant per recipient falling by $120.

    An interesting aspect of the report found that the earnings gap between high school graduates and college graduates is increasing. In 2005, women ages 25-34 with bachelor”s degrees earned 70 percent more than those with high school diplomas, and for men the difference was 63 percent.

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