Initiatives benefiting students, others presented to Wake Forest Trustees
February 12, 2008
Wake Forest University is reducing the size of loans its neediest students require by giving them more financial aid in the form of grants.
The Wake Forest University Board of Trustees heard information concerning the financial aid changes at its meeting February 8, along with other initiatives to benefit students and other members of the university community. Also, the trustees approved tuition and fees for the 2008-2009 fiscal year.
The changes benefit freshmen entering Wake Forest next fall with an annual family income of less than $40,000. Their loans will be capped at $4,000 per year during their college years. Other financial aid to the students will come from grant and scholarship increases and work-study opportunities.
“Wake Forest has always been sensitive to students with financial need. I’m very pleased that we are able to take these new steps to help students and their families,” said Provost Jill Tiefenthaler. “We will continue to work diligently to increase our financial aid funding.”
For 2007-2008, Wake Forest is delivering nearly $58 million in financial aid from all sources to undergraduates, of which about $36 million comes directly from the university. Fifty-eight percent of undergraduates receive aid at Wake Forest; 35 percent receive need-based aid. The average annual award to all recipients is $22,450.
In another initiative benefiting students, Wake Forest will begin in late May creating more apartment-style student housing. Wake Forest has long been known as a residential campus, where most undergraduates live in university-owned student housing.
The additional housing will be created when the university converts Faculty Apartments into newly-renovated residences for undergraduates. Presently, the apartments are occupied by university staff and faculty members. Faculty Apartments comprises 10 buildings with a total of 72 apartments.
In a Feb. 11 letter to apartment residents, Vice President for Student Life Kenneth A. Zick gave these reasons for the conversion:
- Campus housing is at capacity, leaving the university with no options if more students want to live on campus. The university already has converted some residence hall lounges into residential space. To meet present demands, and to accommodate even a small enrollment increase, more campus housing is essential.
- A study commissioned by the university indicates the university’s residence halls require improvements and renovations. To make improvements, the university needs alternative on-campus housing while construction is underway.
The university is assisting apartment residents with finding suitable nearby housing.
The renovation of Faculty Apartments comes at a time when the university is considering the addition of 80 more freshmen next fall. The trustees have authorized the preparation of a 2008-2009 budget with the assumption of 80 additional students. The budget will be considered at an April meeting of the trustees.
Another change coming to the campus is expansion of operating hours in Z. Smith Reynolds Library and renovations to popular study areas in the library. Starting later this month, the library will begin operating 24 hours a day Sunday through Thursday. The library will be open Friday and Saturday, but not around the clock.
During the summer, two large study rooms located inside the library’s entrance will be renovated. One room will be renovated to add a coffee shop while providing a large reading and social space to serve the entire university community. The other room will be renovated for improved student study space. The current plan is to complete renovations by the fall of this year.
Another renovation effort to begin this year is a phased project to upgrade the Benson University Center’s food court. The first phase, to begin next fall, will add a delicatessen to the court and upgrade the dining area known as Shorty’s to include a fully-functional kitchen. Additional phases, to be completed during the summer of 2009, will replace the current court seating and bring in a wider variety of international and local cuisines as recommended by the Benson Food Court Advisory Committee.
The trustees also approved new tuition and housing costs for the 2008-2009 fiscal year.
Full-time undergraduate tuition will increase 6.8 percent to $36,560. In the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, full-time tuition will rise 3 percent to $29,190.
Full-time tuition in the Divinity School will increase 3.3 percent to $15,500.
Summer school tuition for undergraduate and graduate students will increase 8.6 percent from $580 to $630 per semester hour.
The study-abroad enrollment fee for undergraduate students studying in non-Wake Forest programs will increase from $1,500 to $2,193 per semester.
Tuition for School of Law students will rise 7.8 percent to $33,950. For students in the school’s Master of Laws program, tuition will rise 8.3 percent to $31,950.
In the Babcock Graduate School of Management, tuition increases will vary, depending on the program. Increases range from 4.5 percent to 8.5 percent. No increase is scheduled for the Master of Arts in Management program.
Student housing costs on campus will increase 2.9 percent to 10 percent, depending on the type of room and residence hall.
The automobile registration fee for students will increase from $325 to $500 for the academic year. The $225 fee for satellite parking lots will remain the same.
A Student Health Service fee of $315 is being introduced in 2008-2009 to enhance health services to students. The fee is for full-time undergraduates, as well as most graduate and professional school students on the Reynolda Campus.
Vice President for Student Life Kenneth A. Zick said several factors prompted the new health service fee.
“The escalating costs of student health care, federal compliance standards, technological needs, and the need to become an accredited college health facility necessitate increased funding for our Student Health Service,” Zick explained.
Such fees, he added, are common at universities.
Zick added that the fee also enables the university to remain committed to around-the-clock care for students.
“Several years ago, a comprehensive study of the Wake Forest Student Health Service identified ways to contain costs, but only at the expense of cutting some essential services, such as 24/7 care,” Zick said. “Most universities do not offer 24/7 access on their campus unless a hospital, usually associated with a medical school, is located on campus.”
Wake Forest’s medical school, instead, is based on the university’s Bowman Gray Campus, some miles away.
“Convenient and accessible student health care on campus is an important and necessary feature of our campus community. In fact, it can save lives. Rather than diminish our commitment to a quality student health service, we need to assure that it continues to meet the highest standards for college health care services,” Zick said.