Gannon to see tuition increases



Gannon University students will see a 3 percent increase in tuition costs for the 2018 fiscal year due to a projected decrease in international student enrollment and increases in utility costs.
The Student Government Association (SGA) discussed the university budget Tuesday with Linda Wagner, vice president of finance and administration, and members of the president’s office.
Gannon president Keith Taylor, Ph.D., said this year has been a tough year.
“We would love to continue to grow [the university], but this is not the year to do that,” Taylor said.
Besides a climb in tuition costs for students, Gannon is anticipating a 16 percent increase in health insurance premiums for employees.
To combat this becoming a pay cut for employees, limited promotions will be made among faculty with little or no expected pay raises, Taylor said.
Students in the College of Humanities, Education and Social Science (CHESS) will pay $890 more per year and students in the Health Sciences and engineering colleges will pay $940-$960 more per year.
Brian Pierce, a junior social work major, said that number stresses him out.
“That makes me unhappy,” Pierce said. “I think I pay enough to go to Gannon and I don’t see why tuition needs to go up.”
He said he noticed campus projects like the electronic maps placed on campus, but argued the old ones were fine.
Still, Gannon is ranked No. 9 for lowest tuition among similar schools, Wagner said. The heightened cost is to help compensate for the decline in international student admissions and costs of recent projects, like the Nash library and the Ruskin, Fla., campus.
There will be about a $3 million increase in utility costs to operate the renovated Nash library, which will open in January 2018, and connect its services to the internet.
Wagner said construction for the library is on schedule and interior demolition is completed. She showed pictures of improved window designs for the third floor that will bring more light into the study spaces at Nash and give students a view of campus.
The decreased enrollment of international students has nothing to do with international students, Taylor said.
“The U.S. government had issues with other institutions that were not using visas properly,” Taylor said.
He gave the example of students who come to the U.S. on a student visa but go straight to work instead of attending classes. In reference to the immigration ban, Taylor said Gannon will focus its energy on things it can control, like recruitment.
“The plan continues to be how to broaden recruitment from other countries,” Taylor said. “We build a plan, and then we build contingencies around that plan. [There are] contingencies around Asia, China and Vietnam.”
Contingencies serve as a “plan B” for the budget, and are costs accounted for as a regular expense, Wagner said. The contingency amount is part of the budget that will only be used in emergency cases, as in capital contingencies that may cover the cost of unexpected utility costs.
Taylor also stressed that Gannon’s global student population, which includes about 20 students from the seven countries on Trump’s immigration ban and makes up 18 percent of the student population, is about more than students paying for tuition.
“We’re trying to build an environment of cultural awareness,” Taylor said.
“This is an intentional decision to diversify our campus.”

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