Regents approve tuition increase

The Del Mar Board of Regents approved a tuition increase of $2 per credit hour at its regular Feb. 14 meeting. The tuition increase will go into effect during the fall 2023 semester.

Administration staff presented proposals for a $1, $2 or $3 per credit hour tuition increase to the board to aid in covering an increase in operating costs due to inflation as well as paying for past-due maintenance costs amounting to as much as $150 million.

During the presentation, staff assured the board that the annual increase in financial aid grants provided to students would cover the increased tuition costs, but some members of the board voiced concerns over the effect the tuition rate increase would have on the 30% of students who do not receive financial aid. 

Regent Laurie Turner was one of the members of the board to voice such concerns, as the 30% statistic includes students who go into debt to pay for college. 

“That’s the information I’d like to know,” Turner said. “How many are actually getting loans; what is our average rate of loans?” 

According to the presenting staff, 95% of graduating students will leave without debt, or with debt considered manageable based on their projected post-graduation earnings.

Following the presentation, Regent David Loeb voiced support for the $3 increase, while Regent Bill Kelly spoke in favor of the $1 proposal. Regent Carl Crull made a motion for the board to consider the $2 proposal.

The motion to increase the tuition rate by $2 to $73 per credit hour was approved in a split 4-3 vote. Crull, Kelly and regents Turner and Rudy Garza, Jr. voted for the motion. Loeb, Vice-chair Nicholas Adame, and board Chair Carol Scott voted against. Regent Libby Averyt was unable to at-tend the meeting, and newly sworn-in regent Anantha Babbili abstained.

The rate increase will cause an overall increase of $30 in tuition costs for a student taking 15-credit hours per semester, while providing an estimated $270,000 in additional revenue for the college.

The allocation of the new funds for the 2023-2024 fiscal year will not be determined until the board’s July regular meeting.

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