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2010–11 Tuition Update: An Investment in Excellence


President EatonSeattle Pacific University seeks to meet the needs of its students and families in every way possible during these uncertain economic times. The following text from an email sent to SPU students outlines the tuition-rate increase for 2010–11 — which will coincide with a significant increase in available funding for financial aid and scholarships.

Take a look at the announcement from SPU President Philip Eaton and let us know any questions you have.

Dear SPU Undergraduate Students:

Greetings to you during another busy Winter Quarter. I am writing from off campus where I am involved in meetings in Pasadena and Phoenix this week. I wanted to make sure you got this news in a timely way.

Each year at this time I communicate with students regarding the tuition, fees, and room and board costs for the next year. Each year we work hard to balance the financial pressures you face as a student with the increasing costs of providing the first-rate education you expect from Seattle Pacific University.

Off-setting the Economy

We are again this year tracking the economy, fully attentive to the impact it might be having on you and your family. We are therefore announcing a moderate tuition rate increase and significant increases in financial aid — both intended to be helpful to you for the coming year.

On February 11, the Board of Trustees approved my recommendation for the following tuition, fees, and room and board costs for 2010–11:

Tuition $28,602
ASSP & Technology Fees (mandatory) $363
Room and Board $8,817
Total $37,782

The overall year-to-year increase for annual tuition is $1,152 (4.2 percent). Room and board costs will increase by $273 after a year of no increases in the meal plans, and the Technology fee is going up by $3.

The total percentage increase for all charges is 3.93 percent.

Costs shown above refer to tuition for a full-time undergraduate student with a traditional residence hall double room and a platinum meal plan. Total fees may vary of course, depending on your choice of meal plan and housing. View a complete breakdown of all undergraduate fees for 2010-11.

A Special Note on Meal Plans

The existing meal plan structure has been in place for more than a decade, and we are exploring new options to better meet our students’ dining needs and preferences. We gathered input from student focus groups in the fall and we will review new options with those students.

Any changes will be announced sometime over the next few weeks. While the structure and pricing of any new plans may vary from what is noted in the complete breakdown of 2010–11 fees, we do not expect significant changes in price.

Great Value

Seattle Pacific was again ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a best value at No. 5 in the West for 2009. U.S. News considers schools in this category as “great schools at great prices.” Our current tuition rate is the lowest of 10 comparable private institutions. We are also at the median tuition cost for the top 10 comparable institutions within the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. What this means is that SPU is a great value and a great investment for you.

Budgetary Highlights

I always try to let you know where the money is going and what this tuition increase is buying. Here are a few highlights from the 2010–11 University Budget:
  • Increased Financial Aid. Funding for grants and scholarships is the greatest increase in the budget for next year. In 2010–11 we will increase the financial aid budget by more than $4 million — a 13 percent increase over last year.

    We know that financial aid is critical for most of our students, and we are committed to increasing the financial aid budget as tuition and other costs continue to rise. Financial aid is distributed in a manner that encourages both new and continuing students to persist and graduate from SPU.
  • Faculty and Staff Salaries. We are committed to paying our people competitive salaries so that we continue to attract and keep our world-class faculty and staff. This is central to educational quality. After a year of no salary increases, we will increase the salary and benefit pools for faculty and staff in order to meet the rising costs for them.

    In addition, we will add two faculty positions, thereby enhancing the high quality of our outstanding faculty. I am confident that we have one of the finest faculties of any Christian university in the country.
  • Critical Campus Operations. Of course your tuition dollars also allow us to maintain our residence halls and dining facilities, our classrooms and laboratories, support our athletic programs, invest in the critical ongoing operations of the University, and maintain our reserves to ensure financial strength now and for the future.

Looking Ahead — We’re Here for You

I wish you all the best as you begin to look ahead to next year. Our faculty advisors and our financial aid staff are eager to help you with any questions you have concerning your academic planning and financial aid for the year ahead.

May God bless each one of you.

Philip W. Eaton

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