Talking Points For 2009-2010 Undergraduate Tuition & Fees

{Audiences: Prospective and Current Students, Parents, Alumni, Media}

Undergraduate Tuition ............ $32,400
General Fee .............................. $1,080
Freshman Board ...................... $3,740
Room .......................................... $5,820
TOTAL ......................................... $43,040

Freshman through Senior Engineering students are charged an additional $700 engineering fee.

More figures are available through the Office of Financial Aid.

  • Valparaiso's tuition increase of 5 percent remains consistent over the past decade, illustrating the University's commitment to hold increases to the lowest possible level without compromising the quality of education.
  • The tuition increase is the third lowest in the past 13 years and less than one-quarter of a percent from being the lowest increase in that time span.
  • Board rates are changing to reflect higher costs of operation, but for returning students, the increase is very little. In fact, there is no significant change in meal plan expenses for current students. Seniors will continue to have the option of establishing the level of meal plan they wish to purchase.
  • We're forced to raise tuition each year because our costs of operation increase annually.
    • The University obtains its operating revenue primarily from three sources: gifts and grants, endowment (investment) earnings, and tuition.
    • While our alumni and other donors are generous in their growing support of the University, the majority of these funds are restricted by the donors to be used for specific purposes such as construction of the new Union, and for creating endowment funds to support specific programs such as student financial aid or scholarly activity by faculty. Although unrestricted gifts that directly support the operating budget have increased steadily, it's not been at the rate needed to offset the increasing cost of goods and services.
    • Grants from the federal and state government to provide aid to worthy students have been decreasing or staying flat forcing the University to absorb some of these operational costs.
    • More than half of our budget is personnel costs (faculty, staff, physical plant, housekeeping, etc.) so even a modest increase in salaries becomes a significant budget increase. Benefit costs also increase annually, fueled by a double-digit increase in cost of health care benefits.
    • It's important we remain competitive with salaries to continue providing excellent classroom teachers. VU has a reputation for a high quality academic program and we want to continue to build on that reputation.
    • To maintain high quality, we must invest in "high cost" areas: laboratories, teaching aids and technology.
    • We want to maintain small class sizes and keep courses available when students need them so they can graduate on schedule. That may require additional faculty members in select areas.
  • Students who receive no scholarships or grants pay only about two-thirds of the cost of a Valpo education. Those receiving financial assistance pay even less. The other third comes from gifts, special grants and earnings from our investments. We constantly work to increase revenue from these sources to keep tuition increases low.
  • We're very conscious of cutting costs where we can, making investments to reduce expenditures for utilities and reviewing health care alternatives, for example, but we must do so with great care so that we do not diminish the quality of education we provide. Some of the additional costs incurred in recent years have been to meet student expectations -- increased counseling services, improved security, greater access to computers, etc.
  • Students and their families also need to be aware that tuition money is not spent on new buildings.
  • Valpo's comprehensive cost of tuition, room and board is less than the national average for four-year, private institutions and could be described as being mid-range for schools of its quality. This comparative position is not expected to change.
  • We will continue to work to ensure that Valpo is a good "value." That is, to see that students receive good value for their investment. We're pleased when publications such as U.S. News & World Report , Barron's and others recognize us as a "good value" or "best buy" as well as for the quality of our academic programs.
  • A good education is, after all, an investment. It is not a perishable commodity that is gone after a few years.
    • Studies continue to show that lifetime earnings of a college graduate exceed those of a high school graduate by 80 percent. (Up from 45 percent in 1980.) (Based on notes distributed in 2002 by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges)
    • And, the economic factors don't address the fact that college graduates enjoy a higher quality of life, are better prepared to adjust to changes in their careers, etc.
    • A more educated citizenry means decreased demands on public budgets and increased participation in civic activities.