University of Nebraska Benefits From Extra Tuition

LINCOLN, Neb. ― A tuition increase that only University of Nebraska-Lincoln business and engineering students pay hasn’t swayed them from choosing those majors.

The $50-per-credit hour increase, known as differential tuition, has generated millions in revenue that’s helped employ additional professors, renovate facilities and expand student services at the school.

Students enrolled in either the College of Business Administration or the College of Engineering pay an extra $3,000 over their time at the university. However, those students also usually get jobs with higher earning potential than students in other programs.

Despite the extra tuition costs, both programs are continuing to expand, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.

Enrollment in the university’s business program has grown by 380 students to 3,900 this fall. Enrollment in the Engineering College grew from 3,200 in 2012 to 3,464 this fall.

“Clearly, the added cost hasn’t been a problem,” said Donde Plowman, dean of the Business College. “Our enrollments just keep going up.”

Nearly half of the 35 additional faculty added to the Business College are paid through the differential tuition budget, he said.

Dean Tim Wei of the Engineering College said the additional revenue has paid for two professors who teach real-world skills engineering graduates will use in the workplace.

“We call them essential, nontechnical skills,” he said. “They are important things like leadership, team building, self-discipline and multi-discipline problem solving ― things that are as important, if not more important, than the technical skills we are teaching.”

The funds also have helped improved the college’s facilities, including its own Student Services office, and expanding the staff that recruits students and works on increasing retention rates, Wei said.