“Next year the tuition increase will be 6 percent,” St. Edward’s University President George E. Martin announced on Wednesday, Sept. 24, in his state of the campus update.
Martin did not elaborate on the reasons of the increase to the packed room, filled with mostly faculty and administration. Instead, he explained that this increase, at 2.5 percent lower than this year’s 8.5 percent, will mean a decrease in new money.
“We have another interesting challenge coming up in the next year,” he said. “New money will be decreased by $1.8 million because of the difference in the increase of tuition.”
The university plans to try harder to be more efficient when it comes to spending money and using resources. Two consultants will be hired to work with administration across campus to identify ways to move resources around.
“It will be an interesting effort. It will be work. But I think the reward at the end of it is, that folks in different areas will be able to advance their area by just using resources in a more targeted way,” Martin said.
In his state of the campus update, Martin remarked on the decision by the United States Department of Education to not refund the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP).
The goal of CAMP is to first expand college opportunities to those who might not have them otherwise and then further support those students in their transition to college through a wide range of services. Over 2,800 students have been helped since 1972 at St. Edward’s. Martin called the news disappointing.
“I think that we were certainly surprised, maybe a little bit shocked. How could they not refund the oldest such program in the country?” he said.
St. Edward’s is one of the few universities that also contributes toward the CAMP fund for students’ college career. With the loss of the grant, St. Edward’s was left with the decision to discontinue the program for a year or pick up the full tab of $425,000.
“I’m really, really proud that nobody, nobody hesitated for a second. They said ‘we’ve got to move forward,’” Martin said, deciding to continue funding the program.
Martin also announced the news of the record-breaking incoming class at 850 freshmen. There was also an increase of 300 in transfer students to St. Edward’s, the most since 2008.
As more students are coming in, more are also leaving for study abroad semesters: President Martin announced that 545 students studied abroad last year — a 27 percent increase over the previous year. The goal is to have 650 students studying abroad by 2020.
As for the never-ending construction on campus, the chapel dedication is scheduled to take place on Oct. 21 at 5 p.m.
Martin’s final update regarded the endowment fund whose campaign was announced last February. According to Martin, the university is ahead of schedule, raising 70.4 percent of their goal. The endowment now stands at $95 million.
“We are really striving for that $100 million milestone,” Martin said.
Student Government Association President Samantha Mendoza was interested in what Martin had to say.
“I think that the president’s address did a great job of capturing all of the positive changes that our university has been experiencing over the past few years,” Mendoza said. “It was interesting to hear all of the progress that is currently being worked towards for the future.”
One of the many faculty members in attendance was Carey Mays, Associate Director of Student Life.
“I thought the speech was good. President Martin always gives an informative speech. I love how he stays connected with students from the past, and gives us an update on how they are doing. It’s one of my favorite parts of the speech,” Mays said. “I always enjoy going.”
Martin closed his speech with a statement on how we are staying true to our mission.
“It’s our Holy Cross mission that makes us say that we are going to support these students all the way through, to graduation,” he said.