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The Scarlet & Black

New Budget Reveals Tuition, Aid Increases

By Matthew Bachtell

Moving in a similar trend with the country, the college is cutting budgets and raising the comprehensive fee by over a thousand dollars a year.

The budget for the 2011 fiscal year was released to the Grinnell community on Feb. 17, introducing a number of changes to the College’s finances.

One of the most significant changes was a three percent increase in the comprehensive tuition fee, raising the yearly cost of attending Grinnell to $46,325 from $45,012. However, financial aid has been raised in equal proportion.

“We maintained our commitment to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of our students, and that meant increasing our financial aid budget by $2.2 million,” said Vice President for Institutional Planning Marci Sortor.

Another important change is the five percent decrease in endowment contribution— a $2,000,000 decrease in revenue—for the second year running. In accordance with the college’s endowment spending policy, the contribution may not be adjusted more than this amount for any given year, to buffer the College against sudden decreases or increases in endowment spending.

When planning for the 2009-2010 academic year, many faculty and staff salary increases remained at a stable rate. For the next year, however, a salary pool of 2.5 percent has been budgeted for rises in wages.

There is an expected increase in expenditure between 2010 and 2011 of approximately $620,000, primarily linked to construction projects and maintenance. Academic expenses were held down by the way in which those funds are distributed.

“Unlike a lot of schools that basically just told different departments and budget managers, ‘Here’s your budget, now figure out how you’re gonna allocate it,’ we went ahead and did what we usually do with our budget planning process,” Sortor said.

Individual departments were asked to provide a list of expenses to the planning committee so that the college’s needs could be appropriately met.

In many cases, departments and budget managers either made reductions in current expenses, or held them flat. Allocations to student groups were reduced, but not significantly.

“The SGA budget looks fine, and student organizations’ funding has been hardly affected by the minor cut in the Student Activities fee in the past year, and overall we’ve been able to shift around our money so as to still serve just about every need with minimal cuts,” said SGA Assistant Treasurer Gabe Schechter ’12, who will become SGA Treasurer for next a year.

Tuition increases and budgetary cuts are expected to level off as the economic situation improves, but there are as yet no definite plans for next year.

“It’s still very early…so we have not started to talk about what should the FY2012 be like,” Sortor said.

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