Increase Helps Mitigate Budget Deficits
Jun. 10, 2022
FLORENCE, AL – After three years of maintaining flat tuition, the University of North Alabama Board of Trustees today voted unanimously to increase undergraduate tuition by $20 per credit hour for the 2022-23 academic year in order to help mitigate the ongoing impact of inflation as well as multi-year budget deficits. Graduate tuition and the $30 per credit hour general semester undergraduate fee remain unchanged.
“We take this decision thoughtfully, carefully, and strategically,” said UNA President Dr. Ken Kitts. “While we have made real progress through Project 208 to secure additional funding from the state, we still receive less support than our peers on a per-student basis. I commend and thank the Board of Trustees for its vision and leadership on this important matter.”
Project 208, an initiative spearheaded by President Kitts since 2017 and indicative of the number of miles from Florence to the state capital of Montgomery, has helped narrow the chronic funding gap that separates UNA from Alabama’s other publicly funded institutions of higher education. The moderate increase in tuition will help offset inequities in state support and enhance academic programming.
“Our Board of Trustees passed a $4.3 million budgetary deficit for FY22, and we project more than a $5 million budgetary deficit for FY23,” said Evan Thornton, Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs and Chief Financial Officer. “The University manages its resources conservatively and has the lowest administrative overhead in the state, but rising inflation, flat tuition for the past three years, and multi-year budgetary deficits necessitate this modest increase.”
Recent funding increases from the state have allowed the University to increase scholarships for students at a time when the statewide enrollment environment has become increasingly competitive as a result of rapidly changing demographics and inequitable funding across institutions. More than 72 percent of UNA students receive institutional support in order to offset the cost of attendance
Further, scholarships have increased in Computing, Engineering, Nursing, Accounting, and Teacher Education, which represents UNA’s commitment to workforce development and the training and credentialing of in-demand graduates to fill crucial jobs in the state and region, all of which takes place in direct collaboration with University partners.
New monies from Project 208 have also allowed UNA to hire additional faculty members in disciplines that are growing in enrollment. Even so, the University remains understaffed when compared to its closest peers in the state, which puts it at a competitive disadvantage.
“Our commitment to incrementally increasing scholarships to recruit and retain talented students, hiring faculty members in growing disciplines to teach and mentor them, and producing workforce-ready graduates to fill high-paying, in-demand jobs in the state and region has strengthened and expanded UNA’s academic profile and brand,” said Dr. Ross Alexander, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.
With a total cost of attendance of $18,080 annually, up five percent from $17,220 in 2021-22, UNA remains an incredible value compared to other public institutions in the state, with expenses ranking in the bottom quarter of all institutions when tuition, fees, room, and board are calculated. In fact, UNA remains the most competitively priced of its closest university peers, including the University of Alabama, Auburn University, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
About The University of North Alabama
The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering credential, certificate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs in the colleges of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering; Business and Technology; Education and Human Sciences; and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. The first-choice University for more than 10,000 on-campus and online students, UNA is on a bucolic campus in Florence, Alabama, part of the historic and vibrant Shoals region. Lions Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/