Thursday February 26, 2009

Investing in Quality

The University of Dayton will increase the cost of attendance, invest in quality of learning-living environment and set aside funds for emergency financial aid.

The University of Dayton will increase undergraduate tuition, fees, room and board 4.7 percent for fall 2009 and invest in residence hall renovations, student retention initiatives and merit increases for faculty and staff. It's the lowest cost increase in eight years.

In addition, University officials will set aside nearly $1.3 million in new revenue to help compensate for the elimination of the Ohio Student Choice Grant, increase athletic scholarships and offer emergency financial aid to strapped students if the recession worsens. The University of Dayton provides more than $70 million in financial aid and scholarships annually.

Graduate tuition and fees will increase between 3 percent and 5 percent, depending upon the program, while law students will pay 3.25 percent more.

University officials will use the revenues to earmark nearly $3.1 million for merit raises and benefits for faculty and staff. Unlike a number of universities across the nation, the University of Dayton remains on sound financial footing and is not laying off people or freezing positions. University officials expect to hire more than 30 tenure-track faculty, mostly in the College of Arts and Sciences, by the fall.

In addition, the University of Dayton has launched the Office of Student Success with a parent resource hotline to answer questions and help navigate through their concerns -- from finances to grades. It's an initiative to improve upon the University's already-high retention rate of 86 percent, help students succeed in college and assist families during difficult financial times.

As part of a long-term plan to improve housing, the University of Dayton will seek financing to invest $13 million in the first phase of a $16 million renovation of Stuart Hall. The University of Dayton is highly residential, with nearly all undergraduates living on campus.

"The University of Dayton is financially strong and continues to attract record applications and strong philanthropic support. Our national reputation is solid and growing," said Daniel J. Curran, president. "Among national, Catholic universities, the University of Dayton remains a value, yet we recognize the difficult times facing many families. We will invest in the quality of our academic programs, faculty and student housing while remaining committed to access for all qualified students, regardless of their economic background."

The University of Dayton's tuition increase falls below last year's 5.9 percent average increase at the nation¿s private universities, according to the College Board¿s annual tuition survey. Although the University of Dayton is one of the nation's 10 top Catholic universities, its undergraduate tuition is fifth lowest among the 25 largest Catholic campuses, according to the University's institutional research office. In 2008-09 virtually all full-time undergraduate students (99 percent) received some form of University-funded financial aid.

Starting in August:

  • Annual undergraduate tuition and fees will increase from $27,330 to $28,690.
  • The annual meal plan will rise from $3,200 to $3,300.
  • Average annual housing costs will increase from $4,780 to $4,960.

The University of Dayton has attracted a record 11,709 applications from 49 states and 35 countries for the fall¿s first-year class -- a new record -- and started a wait list for admission. Last year's first-year class of 1,995 students was the largest entering class since the Vietnam War era.

The University of Dayton is Ohio's largest private university and a top-tier national Catholic research university.

For more information, contact Meagan Pant, assistant director of media relations, at 937-229-3256 or mpant1@udayton.edu.