Tuition will not increase for students at Auburn — housing rates will

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By Hannah Lester
hlester@opelikaobserver.com 

Auburn University Board of Trustees announced on Friday morning that there will be no tuition increase to students in the fall of 2021. 

Tuition for in-state residents at Auburn University will be maintained at $5,898 a semester, while for out of state students, the rate of $15,978 will be maintained. 

“Both resident and non-resident rates are maintaining their position in the mid-range,” said Kelli D. Shomaker, CPA, vice president for Business & Finance and CFO.

Shomaker cited the financial burdens exacerbated by the pandemic as a reason for maintaining current rates. Additionally, the state increased appropriations for the Fiscal Year 2022. 

However, the Finance Committee requested that the board increase student fees by $15 a semester, for a total of $30 a year, which the board approved.

There will be a $5 increase for mental health services, which will finance the positions of two mental health officials for the university. 

“As you are most likely aware, the isolation many students faced during the coronavirus pandemic has placed a strain on limited mental health resources for the university and created a significant time lag for students seeking help,” Shomaker said. 

An additional $10 per semester fee will be added to fund the transit system at Auburn. 

“[This] is necessary to continue to provide a self-supporting auxiliary enterprise with the necessary financial resources to grow routes, to cover the expansion of our student living areas in the city and to provide a more environmentally friendly fleet of buses,” Shomaker said. “The students have asked for the sustainability and we are delivering with new buses.”

Total, the university will have 10 hybrid buses, 56 fuel-efficient diesel buses and four smaller buses in the fleet. 

Housing Rates: 

The board also approved a 2% housing rate increase at both Auburn University and Auburn University at Montgomery.


Auburn University increased its housing rates as recently as 2020, while AUM has not had an increase since 2015. 

“[The increase] will be used to provide adequate funds for new development projects, renovation projects and deferred maintenance projects,” Shomaker said.

Current housing fees and proposed fees can be found: http://www.auburn.edu/administration/housing/apply/rentalrates/

Transit Bus Financing:

The board approved a request “to seek approval to finance up to 30 million in revenue bonds or debt, with the sole purpose of financing the new fleet of transit buses that will be put into operation on Aug. 1, 2021,” Shomaker said. 

Both Trustee Charles McCracy and Trustee Tim Vines abstained from that vote. 

Other Business: 

  • The board approved the Ham Wilson Arena Renovation Project for $2.8 million. The building will be used as a training facility for staff at Auburn. 
  • The board approved an architecture selection for renovation for the Auburn University at Montgomery Science Laboratory Facility Renovation. 
  • The board approved revisions to the bylaws, policies and procedures of the Board of Trustees. 
  • The board awarded a posthumous degree to Tyler Grogan at AUM. 

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