| Wesleyan University will increase its fees by 5 percent for the 2008-2009 academic year. The increase, equal to the lowest percentage increase in seven years, is attributable to growth in salary and benefits costs, as well as energy and other costs that outpace general inflation. The Board of Trustees approved the fee increase at its meeting on March 1.
Tuition will be $38,364 for all students in 2008-2009. For freshman and sophomores, the residential comprehensive fee will be $10,636. For juniors and seniors, the fee will be $12,088. The higher residential comprehensive fee for juniors and seniors reflects the higher cost of the options available to them. Juniors and seniors have access to apartments and houses in addition to residence hall rooms. They also have greater flexibility in dining options.
The university’s financial aid expenditures are projected to increase 7.5 percent to offset the fee increase for students receiving aid. The increase also will support the first year of an initiative to eliminate loans for Wesleyan’s neediest undergraduates and replace these with additional grants, as well as to substantially reduce overall student borrowing.
Beginning with the first-year class enrolling in the fall of 2008, most students whose total family incomes are $40,000 per year or less will receive an aid package that substitutes grants for any loan obligation. Beginning with the same class, all other students who receive aid will graduate with a four-year total loan indebtedness reduced by an average of 35 percent. Aid packages will include a single student loan, the federally subsidized Stafford Loan. The interest rates for Stafford Loans are among the lowest available. Wesleyan will raise endowment sufficient to fund the $3.2 million annual cost of this initiative.
Wesleyan admits students without regard to their financial circumstances and then provides a financial aid package that meets each student’s full demonstrated need. Forty percent of its 2,900 students currently receive grant aid. The average grant in 2007-2008 is $27,151. Wesleyan currently budgets $35.4 million of its own resources annually for grant aid for undergraduates.
“Each Wesleyan family makes a significant investment on behalf of our students, and so does the university,” says Wesleyan President Michael Roth. “We are doing everything possible to use our resources efficiently and responsibly and to maximize the funding available to ensure that students from all backgrounds have access to a Wesleyan education. One of our highest priorities in the next campaign will be to endow financial aid and need-blind admission more fully.”