Elon University President Connie Book said the majority of the 9% tuition increase for the 2022-23 academic year will go toward financial aid. While much of the money allotted will go to incoming freshmen, there are funds set aside for current students, according to Book.

On March 8, the Student Government Association hosted a Fireside Chat with President Book and Vice President for Student Life Jon Dooley. The pair gave context about the tuition increase, a new core curriculum requirement and renovations to the Francis Center.

Part of the 9% increase of tuition and fees next year is going toward a 3% raise for faculty and staff, new programs services and the largest source of funding: financial aid. Book said the 3% raise for faculty and staff also ends up larger than this as Elon supports faculty’s retirement funds as well.

Book said Elon follows a slow growth model in order to have a low tuition and low discount rate. This slow growth model is why tuition increases have previously stayed lower, Book said, and the reason for a more drastic increase this year is because classes over the past two years have not fulfilled this model. 

She said the university hopes to have a similar size class of incoming freshmen as outgoing seniors, since they are the biggest class Elon has seen. Book said they have increased recruiting efforts this year in order to achieve this.

“Our goal is to bring in around 60 more students a year,” Book said. “You probably saw the record number of students who turned out this past weekend for scholarship weekend, which is great news ... We're trying to make sure we backfill the budget with you know, another welcome another class of similar size.”

Book said Advancing Equity Requirements, or AERs, will be added to the Elon core curriculum in the fall of 2023. The new requirement will be applied to classes in all different schools for incoming students.

“It can be from any vantage point, which I think is a strength across the majors,” Book said. “The part in the class that I'm really excited about is … it has to include an actionable item about advancing equity.”

Book also talked about renovations in the Francis Center. In order to connect the center more to campus, a lit pathway will be put in between the Danieley Center and the Francis Center. But, according to the Dec. 7 Board of Aldermen meeting, 95 parking spots will be taken away from the Colonnades parking lot to create the walkway. 

SGA election packets are due March 21 and the next SGA business meeting will be held March 17.