SAN ANTONIO – Many Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) students heard rumors on tuition increases. Well, here are eight questions and answers about the upcoming tuition raises.
1. Is tuition increasing at OLLU?
Yes, OLLU students’ tuition is increasing by two and a half percent for undergraduates and two percent for graduate students.
Anthony Turrietta, Vice President of Finance, held a forum explaining the increases on Jan. 15. Tuition will be rising two percent beginning the Fall of 2020 for all students of OLLU, including the other campuses located in Rio Grande Valley and Houston.
2. How much is it increasing dollar-wise?
The increases will vary depending on what the student’s educational level is. Undergraduate students will see an increase of $23, while graduate students will have an $18 increase and for doctoral students, the increase will be $19 a semester class hour (SCH).
Students can also expect an increase in the Lake View housing rates and meal plans will be increasing by $50 in the upcoming Fall semester (2020).
For full-time undergraduate students taking 12 hours the semester will cost you $11,172 before any additional student fees equating to $931 a SCH from the current $908.
“Our undergraduate enrollment at Our Lady of the Lake [University] has been very good for the last three years, we hit a very low point in 2016, and we have turned that around,” Turrietta said. “We have noticed the vibrancy on campus the last three years has increased with more undergraduate students.”
3. How much revenue does OLLU bring in yearly?
For the 2019-2020 year, OLLU is projecting a total of $71.6 million in revenue. While that sounds like a lot, OLLU is expecting to break even for the year after all payouts.
However, not all revenue comes from students, but student sources do make up 90 percent of the revenue. Other revenue sources come from endowments and trusts, grants, scholarships and donations that the OLLU Institutional Advancement department brings in.
4. How is the income disbursed among the OLLU campus?
Salaries, department upkeep, plant operations (utilities), debt interest, depreciation and financial aid to students.
“If we have a surplus of money, we put it back into the institution,” Turrietta said.
5. Will books be included in tuition?
As of now, no, but finance is currently working with the bookstore, owned by Follett Higher Education Group, in efforts to include books with tuition. An update from finance will be coming soon on the matter.
6. What does the rise in tuition do to benefit the students?
With the increase in tuition, more institutional financial aid such as grants and scholarships, will be available to students. The tuition rise will also benefit educational services for students and continue to make the OLLU campus safer. Even with an increase in tuition, not all fees are rising, many services like General fees, IT fees, and Health Services have not seen an increase in ten years and will continue that for this year, at least.
7. Will the increases for tuition continue to rise in the coming years?
Yes, it is likely to continue to increase. At the upcoming board meeting, the OLLU finance office will propose another four percent increase for the 2021-2022 school year.
8. What is OLLU doing to mitigate spending?
Turrietta said that this year OLLU put a “soft” freeze on hiring, which means OLLU is only hiring for essential positions. OLLU faculty did not receive a raise this year. The Institutional Advancement department of OLLU works diligently to bring in donations, grants and scholarships to help absorb some of the costs. These grants and scholarships are typically for department upgrades and technology.
Students can visit the OLLU Financial Aid office on campus or go online for more information on any financial aid available to them.