Office of Student Affairs Working to Cut Costs and Keep Tuition Low

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – IPFW’s Office of Student Affairs has allocated $2.6 million for its operating budget for fiscal year 2015, which is 1% of the university’s budget.

The operating budget for Office of Student Affairs marks a 0.1% decrease in total expenditures compared to the previous year. The bulk of this decrease is represented by the cutback in general expenses and supplies by $28,820 in the current year.

“The Office of Student Affairs is working to cut costs where we can in order to keep IPFW’s tuition from increasing any more than it needs to,” Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs George McClellan said. “We are very aware that a lot of our students are working class people, so we take the cost of education very seriously.”

McClellan said the Office of Student Affairs has pursued a variety of initiatives to reduce general expenses and supplies costs by decreasing the amount of paper used, staying aggressive about negotiating service contracts with vendors, requesting prize donations to give away during orientation and finding cooperate sponsors to help fund events such as the Big Event.

The Office of Student Affairs has also been able to generate additional revenue with the help of a $1.2 million Student Support Services TRIO grant from the U.S. Department of Education. McClellan said this grant helps fund Student Support Services, the Upward Bound program and certain academic support services including academic advising, tutoring, financial aid counseling and career assessment.

In addition to keeping IPFW’s tuition low, “the Office of Student Affairs prioritizes budget spending on the departments, people and programs that contribute to student success,” McClellan said.

According the fiscal year 2016 Office of Student Affairs budget summary, 20% of the operating budget is allocated to the Department of Dean of Students and its associated programs including Services for Students with Disabilities, Peer Educators Program and the IPFW Parkview Student Assistance Program.

16% is allocated to the Department of Student Success and Transitions and its correlated programs including the Mastodon Advising Center and the Crossroads program.

15% is allocated to the Department for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and its associated programs including the Center for Women & Returning Adults, Military Student Services and the Resource Center.

The operating budget does not cover all student service programs. David Reynolds, business manager for student affairs and enrollment management, said 37% of student service fee dollars are spent on student programs and activities organized within the various departments of student affairs. Some of the programs and activities that are funded by student service fee dollars include intramural sports, the Communicator, Casa tutors and the Student Handbook.

All students pay the service fee. Student service fees for the 2015-2016 academic year for undergraduates is $12.95 per credit hour. The student service fee amount has increased by 2% since 2014-2015 academic year.

Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Life and Leadership, Kasey Price, said a lot of the student service fee money goes back into student wages. The operating budget for the Office of Student Affairs increased in hourly wages by $25,017 from last year’s hourly wages, which includes payment for student labor and part-time staff.

“A lot of the positions for these student programs are filled by student workers, so the student service fee dollars end up back into the students’ pockets,” Price said.

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