The Elon University Board of Trustees approved its 2016-17 fiscal year budget, increasing tuition by 2.87 percent — the increase amounts to $912. 

With an increase of $517 in room, board and fees, the total package cost will increase by 3.31 percent. According to President Leo Lambert, this will be the second-smallest increase in at least 27 years.

Elon Dean of Students Smith Jackson and Provost Steven House said the process for drafting a budget began in August 2015 with the goal of striking a balance between keeping Elon as a best buy institution while handling cost as reasonably as possible.

“If you want to make things better, you need additional funds and that’s where the tuition increase comes from,” House said.

House added that Kiplinger ranks Elon 29th in the nation for best college value among private institutions.

As part of the university’s commitment to increase access to lower-income applicants, the budget approved on Feb. 11 features a 7.1 percent increase in financial aid. The financial aid increase will offer additional funds for need-based scholarships, Presidential scholarships, Elon Engagement scholarships and the university’s six fellows programs.

“You want to have an entering class that reflects your values and is going to be really dynamic,” Jackson said. “You want to get students who are talented who might not be able to be here if they didn’t have financial assistance.”

With a total tuition-room-board-fees cost of $44,599 next year, Elon maintains it is an affordable institution for higher education.

“Students want smaller classes, they want better technology and we want to deliver that,” House said. “The goal is to handle cost as best we can."