BY RAEGAN NEUFELD
First announced to the Student Government Association on September 22, a slight increase in rates for tuition, housing, and dining is likely for the 2023-24 school year.
The increases are a result of a decrease in enrollment and rising inflation. This news was given to SGA by FHSU Vice President for Administration and Finance Wesley Wintch.
“Tuition goes towards the general operations of the university,” Wintch said in an interview with Tiger Media Network. “That’s the salaries of the professors, paying the custodians to keep it clean, and paying the electricity bills.”
In addition, Wintch also mentioned several other expenses paid for by a student’s tuition, such as heating and classroom technology.
With enrollment numbers down five to six percent, the university will be looking to receive more money from state tax dollars.
“There’s a section of our budget that is funded by tax dollars,” Wintch said. “That section can go up and down given what’s going on in Topeka. Part of my job is to go to the legislature and explain why they should give us more or less money.”
According to Wintch, the state budget office has already received information explaining the decrease in enrollment and added pressures from rising inflation.
“We’re asking the taxpayers of Kansas to help fund the university a little bit more,” he said.
Wintch is hoping this money will help keep the increase in tuition small. The exact increase amount is unknown and will remain unknown until May when the Kansas Board of Regents hears the university’s suggestion and decides what the tuition rate will be. However, rates for housing and dining will be set in November.
RJ Schnack, director of Residential Life spoke to TMN about what housing and dining money goes towards.
“We have an auxiliary budget,” he said. “That means all of our funding comes from dining and rooms. That’s how I pay my staff, pay for electricity and gas, and pay for the buildings.”
Schnack also discussed how a decrease in enrollment and an increase in inflation affect housing and dining, the main effect being the delay of several projects. For example, the apartments in Stadium Place need new air conditioning units and roof repairs.
“Other bigger projects we have coming down the line also have to be pushed back,” Schnack added. “When we push them back, inflation goes up, so the budget for what we thought the projects were going to be are now much higher.”
Like tuition, the increases in housing and dining rates are expected to be small.