By Madelin Shelton–
In response to the financial strain on the University of Louisville by the COVID-19 pandemic, the university has announced it will raise tuition rates for students by 2 percent.
The financial fallout of the coronavirus was predicted to create a $39,000,000 shortfall for U of L’s 2020 fiscal year . As a result of swift action, including employee furloughs, salary decreases and other cost-saving techniques, the university was able to achieve a balanced budget for the fiscal year.
However, COVID-19 is expected to cause a potential $82,000,000 negative budget impact in the next fiscal year. Among other strategies for making up the financial shortfall, U of L has decided to implement a 2% increase on tuition prices.
This comes as universities across the state have chosen to issue tuition freezes to further protect students from the drastic financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kentucky universities who have chosen to freeze tuition include: Northern Kentucky University, Kentucky State University, Morehead State University, Murray State University and Western Kentucky University.
John Karman, U of L’s director of media relations, said that tuition will rise $117 from the 2019-2020 rate of $5,866 per semester to $5,983 per semester.
“The university has been forced to use a number of levers to address the significant financial crisis caused by COVID-19. For fiscal year 2020, those levers included salary cuts, furloughs and reductions to employees’ retirement funds,” Karman said.
“For fiscal 2021, levers include the modest tuition increase and continued reductions to employee retirement contributions, among other cuts,” he continued.
When asked if the university’s administration was concerned with how this rise in tuition would impact students already struggling with the financial strain of higher education, Karman said that they were. He said the university plans to continue expanding its financial aid pool while dropping the cost of online courses to match the cost of in-person instruction.
Graphic by Joseph Garcia // The Louisville Cardinal