2019-2020 Differential Tuition

Differential Tuition Oversight Meeting
November 6, 2020


  • Jagath Kaluarachchi (College)
  • Thomas Fronk (MAE/College)
  • Rose Hu (ECE/College)
  • Charlie Zheng (MAE)
  • Monte Larson (College)
  • Amber Buatte (Business Services)
  • Cooper Karras (Engineering Senator)
  • Anika Knudsen (E-Council President)


Amber presented the differential tuition distribution data and discussed the amounts spent by each department and the corresponding areas of focus such as TA wages, supplies, etc. It was indicated that per the original proposal, differential tuition cannot be used to pay salaries of tenure track faculty, but funds can be used to hire or pay salaries of teaching faculty such as lecturers, adjunct faculty, and professional practice professors.

Jagath explained that differential tuition funds help bridge the gap between the average cost for teaching a course across campus and the amount needed within the College of Engineering. The College of Engineering courses require more specialized equipment and additional supplies to enrich the student experience.

Cooper and Anika said they appreciate this meeting and feel that it is informative and helps them to answer questions the students may have. They also appreciate the information available on the website.

A question was asked related to the amount departments are allowed to carry forward each year. The College does not have a restriction regarding how much is allowed to be carried forward. Each department has various needs and will know if funds need to be carried forward so that equipment can be purchased or significant upgrades to lab space can be made.

Another question was asked related to adjunct faculty pay and if that is restricted to required courses for a degree. Each department head hires adjunct faculty depending on the specific needs within their department. They will determine the number of adjunct faculty needed and the courses they will teach each year.

An additional question was asked regarding the plan for use of funds during the current school year since most club activities have been and will be limited due to COVID-19. The department heads make the decisions regarding the use of differential tuition funds. The funds can be saved for future years, or used in different ways to still support the student experience. Charlie mentioned that his department has been receiving proposals to start additional clubs. Some of the savings this year will allow them to support additional clubs in future years. Jagath mentioned that he is also looking at additional ways to use the funds that will benefit students during this time when club support needs are reduced.

Differential Tuition Summary for the 2019-2020 School Year

Total Differential Tuition Received $910,819.93

Uses of Differential Tuition

Differential tuition received for the 2019-2020 school year was used to support the following:

  • Support TA’s/graders
  • Provide supplies/equipment for class projects/labs
  • Support clubs within the college
  • Equipment upgrades
  • Adjunct instructors
  • Senior Design support
  • Engineering Writing Center
  • Support the IDEA/Metal Factory

Differential Tuition Funds Allocations

Differential tuition funds were allocated to the academic departments based on the student credit hour enrollment. The Dean's Office was allocated 20% for support at the college level.

Semester Amount
Summer 2019 $12,977.42
Fall 2019 $531,606.37
Spring 2020 $365,386.27
Summer 2020 $849.87
Total $910,819.93
2019-2020 Differential Tuition chart
Department TA/Grader Wages Classroom Supplies/Equipment & Club Support Student Travel, Field Trips & Club Travel
BE 63% 33% 4%
CEE 77% 16% 7%
CS 99% 1% 0%
ECE 31% 65% 4%
EED 72% 20% 8%
MAE 86% 8% 6%
Average 71% 24% 5%