Some UD students will see tuition hikes

Dennis Assanis

DOVER — Legislators on the Joint Finance Committee questioned the president of the University of Delaware Wednesday about a planned tuition increase for select majors.

The university announced Monday it will begin raising prices for students in the Lerner College of Business, College of Engineering or School of Nursing.

Full-time students would pay $1,000 per year more in the upcoming academic year. That “differential charge” would grow to $1,500 for nursing and business students and $2,500 for engineering students the following year.

By the 2020-21 school year a major in the Lerner College of Business would pay $2,500 more than now; engineering majors would have to pony up an additional $4,000.

Students currently enrolled at UD in those fields would be given credits of $500 per year.

Asked about the justification for the planned increases, UD President Dennis Assanis told lawmakers it is necessary to allow the university to keep up with institutions in surrounding states and attract top talent.

“We don’t feel that they should be educated by less capable and inspiring professors,” he said.

UD plans to add about 250 new faculty members within the next seven years.

In response to a query from Rep. Debra Heffernan, D-Bellefonte, about making in-state students exempt from the surcharge, Dr. Assanis said administrators considered it but decided to treat all the students equally.

The increase would not apply to nursing students who enter the university through Delaware Technical Community College’s nursing associate degree program.

According to the university’s website, the selected areas were chosen because of “high cost of instruction, high demand by students, high national standing, high placement rate and salary upon graduation and finally, high economic impact on the state and beyond.”

Currently, out-of-state students pay $33,150, while in-state attendees pay $13,160.

The university is earmarked $118.7 million in Gov. John Carney’s recommended budget, almost exactly what it is receiving in the current fiscal year.

Dr. Assanis touted the university’s role in economic development in Delaware, pointing to its partnerships with companies in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. According to UD, it has a $6.2 billion impact in the state.

“The University of Delaware is such an integral part of the state of Delaware. We believe the state is investing in us, but we also give so much back to the state,” Dr. Assanis said afterward.

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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