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A spirit that is not afraid

Board of Trustees approve another 3% tuition increase

Board of Trustees meeting on April 12
Board of Trustees meeting on April 12

At the Sept. 16 Auburn Board of Trustees meeting, Chief Financial Officer Kelli Shomaker proposed another 3% increase in tuition for the fall 2023 semester for Auburn, and a 4% increase for Auburn University at Montgomery. 

The last tuition increase was proposed at the April Board of Trustees meeting for the 2022-2023 academic year. Shomaker said that she was bringing the tuition rates to the board earlier to "provide as much transparency as possible to our students about the actual costs of education at Auburn University." 

The second tuition increase comes in the wake of the University recovering from the financial damage the pandemic caused, alongside inflation and the increasing cost of labor and supply chain shortages. Shomaker also noted that they wanted to maintain a competitive salary rate for their faculty as a reason for the increase. 

"I want to acknowledge the tremendous financial support Auburn has received during the latest legislative session," Shomaker said.  "That financial support is incredible, but the state appropriation does not cover all of the rising costs of the University." 

Shomaker said in comparison to other schools in the Southern Regional Education Board, which includes more than 100 universities in 15 southern states Auburn has remained in the median range. 

The 3% increase at Auburn will impact undergraduate residents at an additional $360 per year, and non-resident undergraduate students at an additional $984 per year. 

This increase comes immediately after the 3% increase this semester, and a freeze on tuition for the 2021-2022 academic year due to financial hardships faced by many during the pandemic. The 2021-2022 academic year was the first time there had not been a tuition increase in 30 years at Auburn or AUM. 

With the most recent increase, in-state students paid $12,176 for the entire academic year, which included tuition and fees. With the proposed increase, students will pay $12,541. 

New housing rates was also on the agenda, and the Board approved an increase of 3% in the rates, citing the costs of continued renovation projects around on-campus housing.

The Board of Trustees approved the 2022-2023 budget, which begins Oct.1 and ends Sept. 30, 2023. The proposed budget was 1.59 billion with 52.4% of it being invested directly back into "its people," Shomaker said.

"The University is committing to an investment of $60.2 million in total towards its people, that includes 5% merit pool increase, funds for the recruitment of high caliber, for us to provide our staff with market-competitive salaries, job family and faculty promotions and other salary adjustments as well as employee benefit," Shomaker said. 

In the June Board meeting, Roberts proposed a multi-phase compensation initiative to the Board of Trustees to invest $32 million for the fiscal year, received almost double, making it the largest compensation investment in the history of Auburn University. 

Roberts, during his Presidents Report, addressed the board with his gratitude for the approval of the budget. 

"The largest investment was in our people," Roberts said. "I just want you to know that I for one, really appreciate the opportunity to recruit and retain the best talent out there." 

Destini Ambus | Editor-in-Chief

Destini Ambus, senior in journalism, pursuing a minor in sociology is the editor-in-chief of The Auburn Plainsman.


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