Board of Trustees Approves University Budget

Financial aid increases, long-term investments in academic priorities continue.

May 13, 2016

The George Washington University Board of Trustees Friday approved the university’s fiscal year 2017 operating and capital budgets for fiscal year 2017, which runs from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017.

This budget represents the university’s continued efforts to align expenses and revenues, rebuild reserves and make strategic long-term investments in academic priorities during the upcoming fiscal year.

The $1 billion operating budget includes graduate and undergraduate financial aid totaling more than $275 million in order to meet the anticipated financial need of incoming students.

The popular fixed-tuition plan, which locks in an incoming undergraduate student’s tuition for a five-year period, will continue as will investments in implementing GW’s strategic plan, Vision 2021. Those investments include support for cross-disciplinary initiatives such as the GW Cancer Center and the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute. 

The operating budget reflects an improvement in graduate enrollments and our ongoing efforts to make reductions in the central administration that have enabled the university to bring expenses in line with revenues for FY 2017.

President Steven Knapp recently explained to the Faculty Senate that the university will continue to make expense reductions despite the growth in graduate enrollments.

“We are doing this for two reasons: One is our concern about the growing need for financial support for undergraduates, which reduces net tuition revenue,” Dr. Knapp said. “The second has to do with our deliberate steps to decentralize our revenue control by giving the deans more control over revenues from graduate programs, off-campus programs and online programs.”

The operating budget also maintains the university’s desire to provide funding for performance based merit increases for faculty and staff, with a merit pool of up to 3 percent approved for FY 2017. 

The FY 2017 capital budget expenditures total approximately $85.3 million and continue the university’s investment in previously approved major capital projects that will deliver enhanced facilities in support of the university’s academic mission. These include the build out of the top two floors of Science and Engineering Hall for use by the Milken Institute School of Public Health and the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. It also includes renovations to the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design’s 17th Street building, which are fully funded primarily from the assets received in the original agreement to acquire the Corcoran. 

The capital budget also includes funds for renovations and improvements to residence halls and ongoing investment in sustainability efforts that reduce GW’s carbon footprint, reduce utility costs and assist in upgrading building infrastructure and equipment. For FY 2017, these efforts will include a variety of water conservation, lighting retrofit and controls upgrades along with the replacement of the boiler system serving Thurston and Mitchell halls.  

FY 2017 will be the second year of the university’s new budget model and the second year of budget planning on a five-year cycle.