California Baptist University announced Feb. 12 the most recent increase in student fees, which will take effect in the 2016-2017 academic year.
This increase will affect different areas across the board, including overall tuition, housing and board.
The reason behind the change is not only so CBU can remain competitive with other Christian colleges and universities in the area, but also so that CBU can continue to give top-notch services to its students that remain consistent with the rising cost of attendance and continually growing number of students.
“CBU determines sustainable pricing based on the best calculations of what it costs to provide the quality academic programs and other services that students have come to expect at this university,” said Calvin Sparkman, director of financial services.
Using the format of previous years, CBU conducted a study of 10 other Christian universities and colleges in California to compare various costs for tuition, room and board and other required fees.
The most recent increase in student fees occurred in the 2015-2016 academic year for tuition and board. Meal plan rates, student services fees and general fees have not been increased for four years, five years and six years, respectively.
Some of the increases include an almost $500 increase for traditional undergraduate tuition and a nearly $100 increase for single student housing rates. Some individual master’s programs at CBU have increased about $20 per unit, such as applied mathematics, English and music.
According to Sparkman, CBU increases overall scholarship funding every year to keep up with the growing attendance numbers at CBU, which surpassed 8,500 this year.
The same increase should happen this year as Sparkman said CBU is also planning to increase the amount of aid from which students will be able to pull. Currently, the budget has more than $47 million in institutional aid available for students, but that number should increase.
“CBU plans to increase the amount of scholarships and grants that will be available to help many students pay tuition and fees in the coming year, but the budget has not yet been finalized for next year,” Sparkman said.
In addition, Sparkman said CBU strives to help its students afford college by determining whether they qualify for various grants, such as the Pell Grant, Cal Grant or student loans.
Sparkman mentioned the increases were based from research conducted on other schools and administrative units. The CBU Executive Council recommended the increases and the university’s Board of Trustees approved them.
Among other things, the increase in funding will help increase institutional aid for students, along with improving academic amenities.
“Examples include specialized equipment needed for specific programs such as engineering, nursing, allied health or aviation as well as the costs to install and upgrade computer labs and improve communications technology such as Internet access and Wi-Fi service for the entire CBU community,” Sparkman said.
Despite the increase in costs, some students consider the college experience they are receiving from CBU to be worth the amount they are paying.
“I feel like CBU is always getting better,” said Tim Kwon, fourth year nursing major.
Kwon said the quality of CBU is top-tier.
“(Students are) still getting a pretty good deal,” Kwon said. “All the professors, they are here to help you succeed. They want you to get that degree by the time you get out of here.”
Kwon added the aesthetics and appealing grounds of the campus are a bonus.
“People come onto campus and say, ‘Oh, my gosh, CBU looks like a resort,’” he said.
CBU’s Recreation Center, Lancer Plaza North and The Point Apartments have all received beautification awards from the Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful program in 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively, for working toward beautifying the city of Riverside with the various facilities and buildings.