Letter to parents
Elon's board of trustees has finalized the 2005-06 budget, and I am writing with details that will be of interest to you. We consistently hear from students and parents that Elon offers extraordinary value, and trustees are committed to maintaining that position. At the same time, you have also urged us to continue to raise the level of excellence, expand academic and student life programs, and preserve the close student-faculty relationships and sense of community that make Elon such a special place. This budget is in line with your expectations and our NewCentury@Elon strategic plan to develop Elon as a national model of engaged learning. Here are some of the major initiatives:
We will be able to fund these initiatives while maintaining Elon's outstanding cost advantage relative to peer institutions. Tuition and fees for 2005-06 will total $18,949 and room and board will be $6,370, amounting to an overall increase of 7.44 percent. Elon's total cost next year will be 8 percent lower than the current national average for private colleges and universities. Our tuition and fees are nearly $4,900 below the average for other top-10 private schools in the U.S. News & World Report Southern universities ranking.
The signs of Elon's continued focus on quality are all around us. Construction on the Ernest A. Koury, Sr. Business Center, just north of the McMichael Science Center, began in January, and we are planning a site dedication ceremony for April 14. When the Koury Business Center opens in fall 2006, students in all majors will have access to 16 new classrooms, 19 study rooms, 3 computer labs, a digital theatre, finance center, and much more. I am grateful for the philanthropy of many alumni, trustees, parents, and friends for making this building possible for our students.
Phoenix Club Sports Fields on the new South Campus, south of the railroad tracks, will be ready for use this fall, with facilities for soccer, rugby, lacrosse, and baseball, along with a golf driving range and practice field for the Fire of the Carolinas marching band. Buildings on this former Elon Homes for Children property are also being refurbished to provide additional meeting and administrative space. On the north end of campus, our baseball team is thrilled with the new lights that have been installed at Walter C. Latham Park, thanks to the generosity of a group of parents, alumni, and friends.
We are proud of Elon's continued momentum this spring. Applications for admission are up 13 percent over last year's record numbers and 30 percent higher than two years ago. A new report by The Education Trust ranks Elon's graduation rates in the top 8 percent of master's-level universities nationwide. This month, former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman spent three days working with students on leadership and environmental issues. The Elon University School of Law will open in fall 2006 under the leadership of founding dean Leary Davis and a distinguished advisory board that includes two former North Carolina chief justices and the former president of the American Bar Association. We look forward to spring convocation on April 14, featuring former NASA astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn. I hope you will plan to attend.
This is an exciting time at Elon, and we thank you for your continued support and commitment to the community values we treasure so deeply.
Leo M. Lambert?