Message from the President
March 15, 2017
Dear LMU Students:
Our Board of Trustees met on Monday, March 6, 2017, and approved the budget for Fiscal Year 2017-18. LMU remains on sound fiscal and academic tracks. Our twin strategies of setting a course of global imagination and ensuring that an LMU education remains cost-effective are succeeding. As we continue to forge the future together, I offer my gratitude and enthusiasm for our achievements this year.
As part of next year’s budget, undergraduate and graduate tuition rates will increase 4.44 percent and average housing costs will rise 1.5 percent. On the sound fiscal track, our budget results from comprehensive cost-containment efforts and strategic planning, including our modified zero-based budgeting approach, our repurposing of existing funds, our commitment to support Loyola Law School’s strategic plan, and the academic priorities designated by the Provost’s Planning Council.
Rising medical insurance costs and an expanding regulatory compliance environment, including changes to state and local overtime pay rules, significantly impact our operating budget. The FY 2017-18 budget will establish pools for permanent and one-time strategic funding needs that align with priorities in our strategic plan. Later this semester, EVP and Provost Joseph Hellige and SVP and CFO Thomas Fleming will host a community open forum to discuss our budget process and outcomes in greater detail.
LMU budgeted more than $110 million – the most ever – for financial aid. We recently surpassed our Scholarship Initiative goal by raising $103 million for 341 need-based scholarships. These funds ensure that an LMU education remains accessible to academically qualified applicants and students, regardless of financial considerations, supporting our longstanding commitment to an inclusive, intellectually rigorous community.
The teaching and learning environment LMU provides is exceptional, admitting no low-cost substitute. Our student-teacher ratio remains 11 to 1, the average undergraduate class size is 20, and the average graduate class size is 17, supporting our teacher-scholar model. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently named LMU one of the top producers of Fulbright Students in the nation, with eight awards in 2016-17.
We received over 15,100 first year applications for fall 2017, a record high for LMU, and a 14 percent increase over the prior year, the largest reported increase in applications by any Jesuit university in the U.S. Our growth in graduate program applications is notable: the Master of Science in accounting is up 67 percent, the School of Education’s doctoral program is up 55 percent, and the School of Film and Television graduate programs are up 15 percent. The quality of our applicants also continues to rise, with higher average test scores and greater diversity. Our applicants for admission come from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 115 countries. Undergraduate applications from outside of California increased by over 20 percent, attesting to the exceptional work of our Enrollment Management colleagues and our efforts to increase LMU’s visibility and renown.
I experience joy and share your zeal when I see you on campus, when we share meals, when we cheer together in the Cage, and when I learn of your wondrous achievements and aspirations. Defined by our Catholic, Jesuit, and Marymount traditions, our faculty, student development professionals, campus ministers, and staff continually work to improve your education and improve the value of an LMU degree. As LMU Lions, you lead lives of meaning, purpose, and impact – and in the process, you transform us, each other, and the world.
With sincere appreciation and thanks,
Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D.