Topics: Administrative, Board of Trustees

June 5, 2015

The Ball State University Board of Trustees today approved the 2015-16 budget. As part of the budget, the board approved minimal tuition and fee increases while providing students with increased financial aid.

Student tuition and mandatory fees will increase 1.65 percent for 2015-16 and 1.64 percent for 2016-17. The total increase in 2015-16 will be $77 per semester for a full‐time, Indiana resident undergraduate student taking 12 to 18 credit hours. The following year, 2016-17, the increase will be $78 per semester. The increases are in line with recommendations by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

Ball State President Paul W. Ferguson said the modest increases will help fund the university’s goals set forth in The Centennial Commitment, the refocused strategic plan approved by trustees last February. The plan focuses on 18 primary goals for the university to accomplish by 2018, the university’s 100th anniversary.

“Ball State is nationally known for providing students with an outstanding education, which is evident in the rise in our four-year graduation rate from 32.5 percent for 2005-06 freshmen to 44.5 percent for 2010-11 freshmen,” Ferguson said. “We are moving forward with The Centennial Commitment, positioning the university as the model of the most student-centered and community-engaged 21st century research universities.”

Ferguson said Ball State will continue to help students, providing more funding for financial aid. The university’s 2015-16 budget calls for a 3.61 percent increase in financial aid, the seventh year in a row that the university has increased financial aid at a rate higher than tuition.

Currently, about 87 percent of all Ball State students receive some form of financial aid, while 64 percent of the university’s first-time, full-time undergraduates receive grants or scholarships totaling $21.4 million.

“Due to our commitment to our students as well as the state of Indiana, we are preparing entrepreneurial learners to be impactful leaders,” Ferguson said. “Our graduates will be ready for our rapidly evolving economy that values creative thinking, problem solving and finding answers in new ways to improve the quality of life for all.”

Ball State overwhelmingly serves Hoosier students, with 85 percent of the student population from Indiana. The goal in setting rates for tuition and fees is to balance the desire to keep Ball State accessible and affordable for Hoosier students and families, while providing a high-quality educational experience, said Bernard Hannon, Ball State’s vice president for business affairs and treasurer.

“This is a balanced budget, both financially and strategically,” Hannon said.

Hannon noted that Ball State is a highly efficient campus with lower-than-average expenditures per student, administrative staffing and growth rates, and health care costs. The university also is noted for having energy costs that are 32 percent below the national average on a cost-per-square-foot basis. These efficiencies help keep Ball State’s tuition affordable for Hoosier families.

Board Chair Rick Hall affirmed the focus of this biennial budget.

“The board is fully supportive of this budget proposed by President Ferguson and the Cabinet that is student-centered and community-engaged while maintaining the Ball State tradition of cost-efficient management,” Hall said. “This balance will continue to set Ball State apart as a model university and valued asset to Indiana students and their families.”

In other business, the board approved a 2 percent increase in salary funding for faculty, professional and staff employees. The 2 percent funding increase will be distributed in accordance with the university salary document and each salary unit plan, all of which require at least a 70 percent merit component.