Each winter the Lawrence University Board of Trustees determines the cost of attending Lawrence for the next year. Earlier this week, the board approved a comprehensive fee of $56,133 for the 2017–18 academic year, a 3 percent increase over the 2016–17 academic year. Major components of the fee include tuition at $45,801, room at $4,989 and board at $5,043. To see a more detailed breakdown of the comprehensive fee, please visit our tuition fees & fees web page. This is the third consecutive year that Lawrence has held fee increases to 3 percent or less, a rate significantly under our peer institutions.
As part of next year’s comprehensive fee, starting fall of 2017, we will cover several specific fees that may have prevented students from participating fully in opportunities at Lawrence. For example, student ticket prices to Artist and Jazz Series concerts will be eliminated to assure all undergraduates can take full advantage of these world-class performances. We will eliminate the $250 study abroad fee to make it easier for students to take advantage of the many transformative international study opportunities. The $30 Residence Hall Activity Fee charged to all students in residence will be discontinued. Several other administrative fees and course fees will also be eliminated.
Lawrence will increase financial aid for study abroad programs next year. Presently a student can receive up to $8,100 per term in need-based aid for Lawrence-affiliated study abroad programs. That upper limit will increase to $8,330 per term for the next academic year to mirror the increase in tuition. In the future, this upper limit will increase at the same rate as Lawrence’s tuition.
I am aware of the financial challenges that face students and families to fund a Lawrence education. That is why, in addition to managing our expenses and keeping tuition increases as low as possible, scholarships continue to be our core fundraising priority. Thanks to extraordinary support of the Lawrence community we continue to make progress toward our goal of meeting the full demonstrated need of every student.
Lawrence strives to provide a rigorous academic experience in a supportive residential community as efficiently as possible. We are committed to maintain one of the lowest student-faculty ratios in the country and to provide engaged learning opportunities that will prepare our students for post-graduation success in a rapidly changing world. We will use all means at our disposal, from cutting operational costs to building our endowment for scholarship support to eliminating fees in order to make a Lawrence education affordable.