Janet Williams, vice president for finance and administration, said the reasoning behind the 5.14% tuition, room and board increase is to assist with items such as hiring and retaining additional staff members, increasing financial aid for items such as student internships and increasing diversity efforts.
During the Elon University March 2 Student Government Association business meeting, Williams shared details on what students tuition goes toward and Chris Fulkerson, assistant vice president for administrative services, and Jana Lynn Patterson, dean of students, shared what Elon’s student insurance will cover.
Williams also said Elon’s goal is to increase financial aid to students by 1% each year, totaling close to $5 million per year. Multiple senators also brought up concerns regarding their own scholarships they received when they arrived at Elon and if there is any aid available to current students.
Williams suggested any concerned students should make an appointment with Elon’s financial aid offices. Senior Class President Lily Kays said they personally know students who have made appointments with financial aid and have not received any additional finances.
“I have had friends who have gone to financial aid, those on the Presidential Scholarship and Odyssey specifically, to address the tuition increase, and financial aid told them there was nothing they could do about it,” Kays said. “Financial aid has said, ‘We don't have the money, the funds to do that.’ And so while you think it is a good suggestion in practice, it has not been successful.”
Williams said there are new resources in place to account for the tuition increase and making an appointment with financial aid should be helpful for students.
“There are additional funds that have been set aside but it has to be based on demonstrated need. They do have a calculation,” Williams said. “But I would probably go back a second time and ask because really, there are additional funds that we have set aside, one-time funds, to help bridge the gap.”
Student tuition, room and board makes up 92% of Elon’s revenue according to Williams. Looking at expenses, 58% of Elon’s expenses go toward salaries and benefits. Williams also said that faculty and staff receive an annual raise and the projected raise for this year is 4%.
Williams also detailed capital projects that Elon has plans this summer for including a East Neighborhood common building, completing renovations on Hook, Brannock and Barney dorms, completing renovations on the McMichael Science Center, continuing additions on the School of Health Sciences, creating sustainable tiny homes in Loy Farms, adding a gateway to University Drive and moving Acorn Coffee Shop to Belk Library.
Williams also shared some future plans Elon has including expanding south campus, creating more academic buildings and renovations to Boney Fountain outside of the Moseley Student Center.
Student Health Care
Patterson and Fulkerson detailed what Elon’s student health insurance, provided through BlueCross BlueShield, will cover. Patterson also clarified that while students need to enroll by March 17, students will not be blocked from registering for their fall classes if this is not completed by then.
“There will be a flag, not a block, a flag on your registration which will mean you'll get a notice at the top which will mean that you have this either say I plan on waiving that, I plan to enroll or understand that I agree that the premium amount will be added, once you do that you can proceed to registration,” Patterson said.
Patterson said this is an opt-out policy, so students whose insurance do not meet Elon’s criteria or do not upload their insurance on the portal will be charged the student insurance. However, Patterson said even if this isn’t completed by the deadline, if students have other insurance that they haven’t uploaded, they can still upload it. If students don’t upload by Aug. 4 and the bill is added to their tuition, students can appeal and the cost will be removed in close to a week. International students are the only exception to this and will have to use Elon’s health insurance.
Fulkerson said that the semester cost for undergraduate students will be $1,302 and students will have a deductible ranging between $300 and $600. Patterson also said that this new insurance could be a good alternative for students who are out of state and have higher deductible plans, or less overall coverage.
“We also want a plan that is portable for our students,” Patterson said. “Again, depending on how your insurance goes it may cover you in North Carolina as a student but if you do an internship in New York, it may not cover you there.”
SGA constitution and bylaws
During the business meeting, SGA voted to approve both the SGA constitution and bylaws. No substantive changes were made to the constitution. Sen. Demetria Hall motioned to add an additional School of Health Sciences senator, however this amendment did not pass. Currently the School of Health Sciences has one senator and the school has a total of 107 undergraduate students.
The SGA elections packet is now live on Phoenix Connect and closes at 5 p.m. March 20. There will also be a required all-candidates meeting held at 5:15 p.m. March 20 in Moseley 215.