September 12, 2016

Year of the tuition increase

financial aid

By Kyeland Jackson —

Students at the University of Louisville will see less green than usual this year.

U of L’s tumultuous summer brought more than just James Ramsey’s resignation. In response to Governor Matt Bevin’s two percent – around $3 million – cut to higher education, universities responded with cuts and fees. With increases to tuition, meal plans and housing, U of L students’ wallets will be hurting. The Cardinal breaks down some of the financial changes summer brought to the university.

Tuition rates increase

The most well-known change this year is the increase to tuition. U of L’s Board of Trustees agreed to increase tuition rates by five percent. For in-state students living on campus, that’s a $526 increase. For out-of-state students, it’s $1,242 more than last year.

Higher tuition will be offset by the Credit for Credits program however. SGA President Aaron Vance pushed for the program, which refunds the increased rate to students who finish 30 credit hours a year. Graduates, seniors and part-time students will have to front the bill, as rebates only apply if 30 credit hours are completed and only goes towards tuition. Trustees promised to freeze tuition rates next semester, though their acts could be redacted if Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd reinstates Bevin’s board.

Meal plans & housing rates

New food and housing options won’t come cheap.

Food and housing rates increased for this fiscal year. It’s the second consecutive year both plans have increased. Changes under U of L’s new dining partner, Aramark, promise new food options and drastic changes to the campus. The university will welcome Panda Express, Mark’s Feed Store and Starbucks among other locations. New options come along with a major renovation to the SAC, adding upwards of $33 million in changes.

U of L also welcomed two new housing options: The Nine and University Pointe.

Financial aid changes

Electives that don’t count towards your degree will no longer count towards your federal financial aid coverage.

U of L’s financial aid office sent a mass email on the matter earlier this year, saying in part that outstanding balances must be paid by the student.

“If you are enrolled in a course(s) that does not count toward your degree requirements, the course(s) cannot be used to determine your enrollment status for federal financial aid and state need-based aid purposes,” the email said.

“This means you cannot receive federal financial aid and state need-based aid for any course that does not count toward your degree requirements.”

That doesn’t mean all electives are out of the question. Electives required for your degree can be factored into your chances of receiving financial aid.


Factor everything in and money may be tight for students this year. So bundle your flex dollars and skip out on dessert – It’s going to be a long year.

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