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Lincoln raises tuition, fee rates

Lincoln raises tuition, fee rates

Revised Reed Stadium renovations approved

May 19th, 2017 by Bob Watson in Local News

Photo by News Tribune /News Tribune.

It will cost students more to attend Lincoln University.

LU curators, during a 35-minute telephone conference call Thursday, voted to raise tuition, room and board, and several fees, with a total additional cost of about $355 a year for full-time students living on campus.

The increase generally includes some fees that were raised earlier this year.

CFO Sandy Koetting reminded the board, "as a public, four-year institution, we are guided by (state law) that indicates we can only increase tuition for in-state undergraduates by a certain rate."

That rate is 2.1 percent, she said, or $144.64 for the academic year — effective with the fall 2017 semester.

Administrators split that increase between tuition and building-and-maintenance fees, Koetting said — a $4-per-credit-hour tuition increase (to $209 per credit hour) and a $12.32 per semester increase in building and maintenance fees, to $132.16.

Room rates will increase by about 3 percent, with specific costs varying for each residence hall.

And curators approved several increases to board fees, based on different meal plans.

The unlimited meal plan increases from $1,580 per semester to $1,630.

"That still equates to about $14.55 per day for unlimited eating," Koetting said. "(That's) very reasonable. I'm not sure where you can eat at for less than $15 for the entire day."

A five-meal plan, currently $660 a semester, is being reduced to $525 per semester, she said, "to encourage both the faculty and staff, as well as our commuter population, to participate in the meal plans. That averages about $6.56 per meal."

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The plan also allows LU employees to deduct the costs from their paychecks and lets students add it to their student aid packages, Koetting said.

Board rates also are going up for this summer's classes, she said.

Effective immediately, transcript fees will climb from $5 to $10.

Koetting said that's the average fee charged by a number of public and private colleges around the state.

Curators also approved a $2.102 million contract with ATG Sports of Andover, Kansas, to renovate LU's Dwight T. Reed Stadium.

The contract is larger than the $1,823,870 contract with Byrne and Jones of St. Louis that was awarded March 29 but rescinded two weeks later because, President Kevin Rome said at the time, "of an irregularity in the bid process" that was discovered after the contract had been approved.

Byrne and Jones also submitted a bid for the revised project but was the highest of the four bids received last week, Sheila Gassner, LU's Facilities and Planning executive director, told the board.

The new project approved Thursday "includes the exterior, which would be the new artificial turf field, the removal and replacement of the scoreboard, the (new) sound system and LED field lights," she said. "On the inside of the work, we're going to have restroom renovations to bring us into compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)."

Other improvements include resurfacing the concourse track area "that is used at times for our track athletes when it's bad weather," Gassner said, as well as cleaning the concrete and adding new concourse lighting that will be good enough to provide safety in the stands when there are night games.

"(We'll be) redoing the asphalt circle drive, because it is in very poor shape, in front of the stadium," Gassner reported.

And, she said, since students already are wearing a path from Chestnut Street, north of the stadium, to the new LINC wellness center on Lafayette Street, the new contract requires paving that path, adding steps on each end and installing an emergency telephone at each end of the path.

Those steps mean the new path won't be ADA-compliant, Gassner acknowledged — but the steep hills on both ends make adding ADA ramps substantially more expensive.

"You could take the sidewalk the long way around and get on the Greenway trail, and that would get you there (but) it would be longer," Gassner said. "There's not a good (ADA) route with all the stairs."

Curator Don Cook, of St. Louis, said administrators "need to be very concerned about the ADA," but ultimately voted to approve the contract.

Construction is to begin immediately, Gassner told curators in a memo, and completed by Sept. 5.

The board also approved changes in the way student activity fees will be used for operations of The LINC wellness center.

Athletic Director John Moseley asked for more flexibility to spend the money than originally had been approved, including paying for taking intramural teams to other schools, and phones and printing costs that had not been included in the original proposal.