For the third consecutive year, Freed-Hardeman University will hold the line on price increases for its students, according to President Joe Wiley. The comprehensive charge students pay for the next academic year will remain at 2012-13 levels.
"We're very much aware of the rising cost of higher education and the challenges it presents students and parents," Wiley said. "We are striving to provide an excellent education while keeping the costs constant."
Although FHU is investing considerable funds into campus improvements, including an expanded library, restoration of Old Main and a revamped central commons area, these are not funded by tuition and room and board charges. Capital improvements are being paid for by contributions from supporters, Wiley said. "All of these improvements are a part of our larger goal of providing a quality campus experience, but they are being done at no additional cost to students," he said.
The decision to hold prices at 2012-13 levels applies to tuition and room fees. The university does not control food costs; dining hall costs are determined by Sodexo, the food service, and are based on the cost of food.
"We have no added fees for labs, parking, special activities, not even campus movies. If you look at some university catalogs, you will see page after page of fees for various things. We have zero added fees," Wiley said.
Tuition costs at public four-year colleges increased by 2.9 percent in the 2013-14 school year, 4.6 percent the year before and 8.6 percent the year before that, according to The College Board. FHU's costs, tuition plus room, have remained the same since 2012-13, university administrators said.
As the university has frozen these costs, it has also increased the amount of money allocated for student aid. In 2012-13, institutionally-funded, need-based scholarships were instituted. "That means students pay a smaller percentage of the published cost than they did three years ago," Wiley said.