More students are forgoing face-to-face classes for online classes. Because online credits are cheaper, NDSU is getting less tuition than it planned for. The budget said $60.4 million in tuition. The reality is $59.9 million.
That's not entirely true. It's not cheaper for the majority of students to take online classes. For online or campus classes when the tuition and fees are included it is $267.11 per credit. On-campus students get the better deal because tuition caps at 12 credits, but for online classes, there is no tuition cap, so if they take more credits, they still have to pay the additional money for each credit. (This is for ND resident rates.)
Second, tuition waivers are bigger than expected. It was budgeted at $12.5 million. It's now $15.1 million. While the difference of $2.6 million is what NDSU could've gotten, we also have to remember that some students might not choose to attend if they didn't get the waiver.
I think tuition waivers are a good thing. Most of the tuition waivers are for grad students and a lot of them put in research hours, teaching hours, and office hours, without even getting benefits like health insurance. Other universities in other states offer health insurance. NDSU also needs to keep in mind that there are many grad students that teach the 100 and 200 level classes and it helps to cut down on costs of needing to hire a professor to teach each class. If the grad students weren't teaching these classes, tuition would increase even more ridiculously than it already has.
The additional face-to-face students, while less than expected, seemed to have caused greater than expected increases in the costs of new class sections, renting more space and paying for more instructors. The additional cost was $1.1 million.
Well, duh! Isn't that common sense?!? Increased students=more classes, more space, and more teachers. I thought that the university wanted to increase the number of students? Well, they should be prepared and should have expected that. Also, many of the science building classrooms are so small and old, that they really don't accommodate for the increased number of enrolled students at the university.
Presidential search. Budgeted at zero. Actual was $175,000. (Also not a surprise.)
Haha! I totally agree with the author on this one. If you're going to have a committee looking for a new president, it's going to cost money and time, so you better figure it in the budget!
Library funding. Budgeted at zero. Actual was $111,021.
And we wonder why North Dakota ranks so low in higher education? What about the billion dollar surplus our state had? The library at NDSU is a sad story for a library. If in 2000, only 22 percent of North Dakotans had attended some college (http://www.ers.usda.gov/Statefacts/ND.htm#PIE
), maybe that should be a rude awakening that something needs to be done to fund higher education. The library at NDSU would be a good place to start. In it's current state, it's old, temperature varies in different sections of the library, the majority of the books are old, and there is just a plain lack of space because it's hard to even move through the aisles for a normal sized person.
Scholarships. Budgeted at $2,953,000. Actual was $3,015,300.
Um...Scholarships?!? Isn't that a good thing? Maybe if they would focus on giving the scholarships to students in ND/MN/SD and not the international students North Dakota would have a higher percentage of people that attended college...