Fiscal year 2010-11 once again saw strong enrollment growth at the undergraduate level, fueling full occupancy of our expanded residence hall capacity. These factors combined with effective management of our tuition discount rate led to revenues that were well above planned budget levels.
We expect these trends to continue as we embark on the new academic year. The Offices of Undergraduate Admissions and Student Financial Planning have been working to enroll this year’s new freshman and transfer student class. The freshman class is on track to be one of the largest and strongest in profile, with enrollment of out-of-state, multicultural, and high ability students at all-time highs. To address this fall’s record student housing demand, the Admissions staff took steps early last winter to reduce significantly the projected size of the freshman class, and special arrangements were made by the Residence Life staff to accommodate approximately 30 students in an Alvernia “extended housing community” at West Reading’s Candlewood Suites. The suites offer all the latest accommodations and are an ideal short-term solution to address our student housing needs until the two new residence halls in Founder’s Village are complete in fall 2012.
Mindful of the still difficult financial times, especially the state and federal budget problems, we have again budgeted revenues conservatively for 2011-12. A modest tuition increase was approved, along with very small increases to room & board. Despite these measures, we have been fortunate to fund a large number of net new faculty and staff positions as well as a 3 percent across the board salary increase. We were also able to implement the first two phases of faculty adjustments and the first phase of staff adjustments stemming from our recent comprehensive salary & benefits studies.