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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Nicholls tuition/fee increase lowest among its peers

Nicholls tuition/fee increase lowest among its peers

This year, students at Nicholls State University will face the lowest tuition/fee increase among college students attending any University of Louisiana System institution.

In an ongoing effort to stabilize student costs and ensure college affordability, Nicholls will not increase tuition and will only minimally increase fees for the 2015-16 academic year.

While many universities are raising tuition and fees by 10 percent or more, most Nicholls students will see a modest 1.6 percent increase, due to minor changes in the energy surcharge and student self-assessed fees.

This fall, as Louisianans consider paying for a college education, Nicholls will be making a deliberate shift from the third most expensive to the fourth least expensive option within the nine-university system.

“The rising cost of tuition and fees at Nicholls has been a major concern of mine for the past year,” said Dr. Bruce Murphy, Nicholls president. “I have been very vocal about not wanting to raise tuition and only wanting to increase fees if students can see the direct results of their money in terms of better classrooms, services and academic experiences. Nicholls is committed to providing affordable, accessible public higher education, and our leadership team will continue to explore how we can keep growing a financially viable university without creating unreasonable cost burdens on our students.”

Two program-specific fees will be added this fall to help expand two of the university’s growing programs. Nicholls will add an additional per-semester fee of $250 maximum for culinary arts students and $150 for petroleum engineering technology and safety management majors.

Revenue generated from the two fees will go directly back into these programs in the form of additional faculty, facility improvements, and added instructional equipment and supplies.

An additional new fee will be applied only to students who take 16 or more credit hours during a semester. This fee was implemented to allow the university to more efficiently allocate faculty resources and remain fiscally responsible.

With tuition capped at the 12-hour level, Nicholls has determined that students enrolled in more than a million dollars’ worth of overload courses each year for which they were not being charged.

The additional faculty costs associated with overload courses amounted to over $700,000 annually. Because most degree programs require students to enroll in 15 credit hours per semester to graduate in four years, additional fees will not kick in until a student registers for 16 hours. Those undergraduate students will pay $205.10 per additional credit hour, and graduate students will pay $236.90 per additional credit hour.

In other words, most students will be able to take a full load and graduate on time in four years, without incurring this additional fee.

Students’ tuition/fee bills will be updated electronically by Wednesday, July 15. The university’s financial aid and advising staffs are working with affected students to provide any rescheduling or financial assistance needed.

Students can call 985-448-4070 to discuss the financial impact to their bill, potential schedule changes and financial aid options.