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Elon University's 2018-19 budget and costs

President Leo M. Lambert has sent the following letter to families regarding the university's budget and student costs for next academic year.

Dear Elon families,

With spring semester right around the corner, I want to share details with you about next year’s university budget, including student costs, as set by Elon’s Board of Trustees. This will help you plan your finances and also gain an understanding of our priorities and budget goals for the upcoming academic year.  

Mindful of the cost pressures facing families, trustees approved a total package that has the second smallest percentage increase in more than 25 years. Next year’s undergraduate tuition will be set at $34,850. The total undergraduate cost, including room, board and health/SGA fees will be $47,549, a 3.05 percent increase from this year’s level.

Elon’s budget strategies are focused on remaining an excellent value in private higher education, and next year’s cost will maintain a tuition level that is $15,000-$20,000 below the majority of our peer institutions. Most schools on Elon’s peer list now have total costs well above $60,000. Elon recently received a #40 “best value” ranking among the nation’s most prestigious private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, with recognition for having the 17 lowest tuition rate. This is Elon’s 12 consecutive year as a “best value” university.

As always, our goal is to carefully steward resources and ensure that new investments are targeted to support Elon’s student-centered programs. Our largest new budgetary commitment for next year will be increases in financial aid, as we work to keep Elon as affordable and financially accessible as possible. Increasing the number of student scholarships is also our top fundraising priority in our current campaign. This is essential both to Elon students and for the institution’s future.

Next year’s budget includes new investments in student health and wellness, including additional staffing with three new positions in counseling services, as President-elect Connie Ledoux Book and I communicated recently.

Three new faculty positions and expanded budgets for academic software and hardware will continue our annual investments in academic programs and maintain Elon’s 12-to-1 student-faculty ratio. Of special note is an additional faculty position to support the establishment next fall of Elon’s new four-year bachelor of science in engineering program. This program will join our existing dual-degree engineering partnership with other universities and provide an on-campus engineering option for the many students who wish to spend all four years of study at Elon.

Next fall will mark the opening of several exciting new facilities and the budget provides for increased operational expenses, maintenance and utility services for these additions to our campus:

  • Richard W. Sankey Hall will be a new academic building for students in all majors and the home of the Doherty Center for Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and the Chandler Family Professional Sales Center. Sankey Hall will be a hub for design thinking and close collaboration among students and faculty.
  • The Koenigsberger Learning Center located on the east side of Belk Library will bring together academic advising, disabilities resources and peer tutoring into a common location with an assistive learning technology lab and 18 dedicated testing/study rooms. The facility will include a new full-time director of learning assistance and an accommodation specialist.
  • Three new residence halls will open on West Haggard Avenue next door to the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center, accommodating 300 first- and second-year students. This is our latest investment in creating an ever more vibrant living and learning environment on the Elon campus.
  • Schar Center, Elon’s 5,100-seat convocation center, will be the premier gathering space for our community and the largest building on campus, serving as the new home for Phoenix basketball and volleyball and a venue for a wide variety of major events.

These new facilities will have a significant impact on campus life for generations of students and we look forward to dedication ceremonies this fall to celebrate the contributions of the generous families who made them possible.

Next year’s budget also supports the second year of a three-year plan to increase the entry-level salaries of the many physical plant employees and administrative assistants who provide excellent service to our community and ensure the smooth operation of our programs and campus.

I am proud of the student-centered fiscal priorities and careful budgeting practices that have been in place at Elon throughout my service as president. The Board of Trustees has always maintained a cautious and wise approach to financing our university, and that will not change as Dr. Book begins her service as Elon’s president on March 1. I hope you will join me in welcoming her back to campus and supporting her work to continue the university’s strong trajectory.

One of your first opportunities to welcome President Book will be to join the celebration on March 13 for our annual Elon Day event. It’s our chance to spread the word about our university through social media and also make an annual gift to support the programs that mean the most to you and your student.

I send my very best wishes for a healthy 2018 to you and your Elon student, along with my hope that spring semester brings wonderful opportunities for continued personal and intellectual growth. It has been an immense privilege to work with talented and caring young people who are preparing for positions of leadership and service in society.  

Leo M. Lambert

Dan Anderson,
1/18/2018 12:10 PM