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Colleges and Universities Education New Castle County News

UD approves 5% tuition increase

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UD University of Delaware Newark college

The University of Delaware announced it would increase tuition for the next school year by 5%, its biggest hike in about a decade. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

NEWARK – The University of Delaware is increasing its base tuition by 5% next school year, along with increases to its room and board, resulting in the largest annual hike in about a decade.

The tuition increase, approved by the university’s Board of Trustees at their semiannual meeting on May 16, results in an annual in-state tuition of $14,040, up $670 from the recently finished academic year, and out-of-state tuition of $37,680, up $1,790.

The board also increased the cost of the university’s meal plan by 9% and its boarding cost for dormitories by 5% – the former of which was reportedly contractually obligated.

It results in a total annual cost of undergraduates living on campus of $31,256 for Delawareans and $54,896 for non-residents.

While UD increases its tuition rates virtually every year as most flagship universities do, this is the largest tuition increase at UD since 2011, when there was a 7% increase. 

Statewide, UD isn’t alone in seeking to increase its base tuition, as Delaware State University has increased its tuition for next fall by 21% although its in-state tuition of $7,038 is about half of UD’s tuition.

In comparison, Penn State University’s main campus charged $32,270 for residents and $51,635 for non-residents last year. It has already approved room and board rate increases for next year but hasn’t announced tuition changes.

The University of Maryland, College Park, will charge $26,921 for residents next fall and $55,722 for non- residents.

Donald Puglisi, chair of the UD board’s finance committee, said the tuition increase is due to “general inflation and increases in specific cost areas,” according to the Newark Post.

“We believe these cost of attendance figures allow us to continue to be very competitive versus our peer institutions,” Puglisi said.

The tuition and fee hikes come as part of UD’s $1.2 billion spending plan for the next fiscal year, which assumes a freshman class of about 4,200 students this fall.

Despite seeing a record-breaking freshman class of about 4,500 students last year, UD reportedly fell short of its budgeted tuition revenue by $14 million this fiscal year. That was primarily due to falling attendance at the English Language Institute, which teaches non-English-speaking students the language. The ELI reportedly fell $10 million short of its budgeted revenue.

UD President Dennis Assanis said “the pandemic critically impacted the ELI,” according to minutes from an April board committee meeting. International students, who help to drive tuition revenue, have not returned in pre-pandemic numbers.

Notably, UD’s endowment fund, valued at more than $1.7 billion in fiscal year 2022, took a hit last year, seeing a calendar year loss of 10.7% – the worst absolute performance since 2008, according to board records. This year has seen an improvement, with a 2.9% gain through the first quarter. The board is targeting a 4% draw this fiscal year to supplement revenue streams.

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