Where Does the Money Go?


Seniors applying to colleges have begun to realize the significant monetary commitment that most universities require. Others wonder why tuition can’t be sponsored by state and federal funding and are curious how tuition funds are spread across the college campus.

“I think [tuition] pays for professors, faculty, and utilities first. Next would be keeping up the campus followed by sports and performing arts,” senior George Schatzlein said.

However, the distribution of tuition dollars is strictly regulated. At Indiana University, one of the most popular colleges for NC graduates, all tuition money enters a collective account known as the IU General Fund. The money in the account is predominantly used to pay salaries and benefits for faculty and staff as well as University utilities, furnishings and institutional financial aid.

“Only a small slice of student financial aid money comes from tuition,” IU Treasurer Don Lukes said. “A majority of scholarships are supported by donations from alumni and others through the Indiana University Foundation. Donors are able to stipulate which programs they would like their money to go toward and their donations are directed to students in that particular department.”

Indiana University also clarifies that tuition money is not used for their collegiate sports teams. Tuition is only contributed to programs and facilities that directly support the academic environment.

“Sports teams and facilities are an auxiliary unit. They receive their funding from donors, ticket sales, television revenue, sponsorships and other program endeavors,” Lukes said.

As far as admission, IU tries to stay committed to in-state students before other prospects. The wide gap between in-state and out-of-state tuition costs are due to the University’s loyalty to local youth. Currently, 75 percent of students across all seven of IU’s campus are native Hoosiers.

“We [IU] have tried our best to make tuition and other fees as low as possible here. As of now, we have the lowest cost of attendance in the Big Ten Conference. Original tuition costs often become lower for students because most are eligible for some kind of financial aid,” Lukes said.

Even though IU is gracious with their scholarship and tuition, many applying students become frustrated because of the $65 application fee. IU does not profit from this tuition fee, and maintains that these fees are only used to process and review the many applicants each year.

Free tuition has also been openly discussed by students on the IU campus. College students are universally swamped by student loans after they graduate, and many Americans feel that college would be more beneficial to the economy if tuition was free or heavily reduced.

“It would be great if free-college was a conceivable plan for the University,” Lukes said. “In 1980, two-thirds of our operations were covered by state and federal funding. Today, only one-third of our expenses are paid for by government sources. We try our best to lower the tuition with the support that we currently receive,” Lukes said.

Indiana University (Bloomington) is currently the largest college in the state, and the treasury department reiterates that they are doing all in their power to make IU the most appealing University in the state of Indiana, socially and economically.