Welcome to the Student Noticeboard! We hope that all of you are safe and healthy. Here you can find updates on decisions taken regarding RO academic polices and deadlines due to COVID 19. We will keep on adding on more updates as things get finalized. So, please stay tuned.
- No return to campus until May 31st as per HEC directives and more importantly for your own safety and in the interest of public health.
- Last Day of classes of Spring 2020 – May 8th
LUMS Fees Update
May 8, 2020
This note further clarifies a memo sent recently about fees. There has unfortunately been significant misinformation on social media, and it is important to clarify that students at LUMS will not pay any more than what they had committed to pay. In fact, some will actually end up paying less in certain cases explained below. The information below confirms that the 41% increase is a misunderstanding of the new payment structure and unnecessarily feeds into social media sensationalism.
- As a not-for-profit institution that takes pride in the diversity of our student body, LUMS disburses approximately Rs 1 billion in financial aid every year.
- 1 out of 3 students at LUMS receive significant financial aid ranging from 30% to 135% of student tuition.
- We also have about 160 PhD students whose tuition fee is completely waived. They also receive generous monthly stipends.
- Additionally, all women graduate students at the School of Business receive a 50% tuition scholarship.
- All graduate students at the School of Education receive need-based, as well as merit scholarships.
Summer 2020 Fees
The Summer semester course fees are in fact lower by 18%, since the new system charges Rs. 21,300 per credit hour instead of Rs. 26,000. Since students will not be staying in hostels, they will save more. Moreover, while in previous summer semesters, students were not eligible for financial aid, they are eligible now. This will allow them to spread their courses over the year giving them more flexibility. These reductions benefit all students.
Fall 2020 Fees
The 13% inflationary increase that was tentatively scheduled to come into effect in the Fall was based on the pre-COVID circumstances reflecting the State Bank of Pakistan reported inflation numbers. In normal circumstances, we have to make inflation adjustments to ensure we maintain the highest standard of education at par with premier universities across the globe. However, given the COVID-19 crisis, we are already preparing contingency plans in case the campus remains closed, or is partially reopened, and will pass on any savings such as lower utilities bills to our students. In other words, the Fall semester fees will be reassessed in July/August.
New Fee Structure
Like the vast majority of internationally established universities, we are implementing a system that replaces a flat fee each semester with a per-unit charge. This ensures that student fees are proportionate to the number of courses into which they enroll. As mentioned, on average, LUMS students require 130 credit hours (CH) to graduate. Across the 3 major schools (Business, Science & Engineering and Humanities/Social Science), only 7.8% of students take and successfully complete more than 135 credit hours. The burden of the extra courses taken by these students is paid for by the overwhelming majority who do not take course overloads. The new system extinguishes this cross-subsidy so the majority of students are not penalised.
We have gone further: Students presently at LUMS in their final years of study and who may exceed the average credit hours (130 CH) will not pay more than they would have under the new system. They will be accommodated and grandfathered into the new system. In other words, every student is better off. LUMS is committed to its not-for-profit mission; our financial planning is aimed at remaining sustainable, not earning profits.
We hope this note will remove the misunderstanding and misinformation about the university. Our fees are a fraction of many comparable international institutions. Our mission continues to advance educational opportunities in Pakistan and the broader region educationally, economically and socially while remaining globally visible and competitive.
LUMS Fee Structure
May 5, 2020
A number of students and faculty have raised several concerns regarding the tuition fee for the forthcoming academic year. These concerns provide valuable feedback and the need for everyone to be informed. This note offers explanations about the fee structure and the fee increase at LUMS.
Fees are under constant review as they are critical inputs to our regular planning and budgeting for the university. Overall, we are rebalancing the fee structure as explained below. The decisions that led to the recent fee increase and the implications of COVID-19 are also discussed below. Some examples are also presented in an effort to offer clarity and to provide full transparency.
During a pandemic, planning ahead is subject to significant possible changes which is why we will be reassessing the fee structure in late summer.
We seek to always ensure that the interests of students, faculty and staff are reflected in the financial decisions that are made by senior administrators and the trustees of our not-for-profit university. Thank you for your patience and for taking the time to read this note in its entirety.
Student tuition fees have increased each year since the university began its operations over 30 years ago. These increases are a reflection of two factors. First, higher fees recover part of the incremental costs of running university operations and second, they respond to the external economic shocks that are beyond university control. Historically, these annual fee increases have been communicated to students via fee vouchers.
The principal difference this year is a change in the fee structure. We have reverted back to the practice of charging fees on a per credit hour basis, a practice that was followed at LUMS in the past. Importantly, this practice is also common in leading universities worldwide. Fees charged on a per credit hour basis brings balance and neutrality so that the cost does not favour those students who take more courses over those who take fewer courses. Fees charged per credit hour implies that the total cost of a 4 year degree program at LUMS is the same irrespective of whether you take 3, 4, 5 or 6 courses per semester.
This norm was changed in the past where students were charged the same fee per semester for taking 12 credits hours (CH) and did not change if up to 20 CH were taken during the semester. For example, tuition fees for this current academic year were Rs. 28,350 per credit for the first 12 CH and no extra fees were charged if a student took up to 20 CH. In other words, the fee remained the same whether a student took 12 CH or 20 CH.
This “cushion” of being able to take extra courses incentivized some students to take course overloads each term. Many of these students weren’t able to handle these overloads and took more CH’s than were required by their degree programs. The negative impact of course overloads was evident in lower grades for some courses. Overloads also increased stress levels which correlate with mental health issues which have become a major concern across our university.
The former policy has also encouraged an inordinate focus on improving GPA’s as students who did not do well on extra courses repeated them in subsequent terms. In other words, students were repeating courses where they obtained a C- or lower grade which did not cost them extra.
Importantly, while the total fees remain unchanged for students taking overloads, students who take less credits (12 CH) are in effect subsidizing those who take more (20 CH). It is fairer for fees to be charged for the number of CHs taken so that some students do not pay for others who opt for overloads.
In terms of fees charged, the important point is that the new fee structure does not affect the total four-year tuition cost. Given the new fee structure, the overall increase is not the 41 percent calculation that is being cited on various social media forums. According to the new fee structure, if one calculates tuition for 20 CH per semester (overload) then this increase is higher than if a student takes 16 CH. On the other hand, the tuition for the semester decreases if one takes 12 CH per semester (please see the calculations below). This is a much fairer system for all.
As mentioned above, fee increases have occurred each year since the university began its operations. The decision to increase fees for 2020 were made prior to COVID-19 to cover increases in the cost of operations due to external shocks. These shocks took into account extraordinary increases in 2019 that were a result of double-digit inflation, a significant rise in energy costs and a historic currency devaluation. Further, the majority of institutions internationally have increased their fees. Accordingly, the increase determined for 2020 was 13% and not the percentages reported elsewhere. As noted, this fee increase for the Fall of 2020 was made pre-COVID at a time when our annual costs were rapidly increasing. Now we have COVID-19 and we will reassess these fees in the summer, especially if the university does not open its campus.
The new fee structure is now based on Rs. 21,300 per CH. In the short run, a student will benefit if he/she takes less courses (12 CH) and disadvantaged if he/she takes more courses (20 CH). Please note, the majority of students take 16 CH. Some take 12 CH, and some take the overload of 20 CH. The average course load needs to be slightly above 16 CH per semester, which roughly adds up to 130 credits required in four years. Of course, we have some programs that have different credit requirements. Again, the example below explains the semester fees under different scenarios.
It is true that the new structure disincentivizes students from taking 20 CH for the reasons outlined above. Students stand to benefit by taking a normal course load of 16 CH. Furthermore, they can pace their studies by taking courses over the summer. Please note, the summer rate for 2020 is not subject to the fee increase.
The university appreciates that some seniors and super seniors will register for 20 credit hours per semester. The university fully anticipates this and will alleviate any adverse financial impact on them.
There are still unanswered questions regarding how COVID-19 plays out in the fall semester. As indicated in an earlier email to students, we will continue to monitor and adjust the fee structure in the event we have to go fully online in the Fall semester.
Rest assured, as a not-for-profit university, LUMS will continue to provide accessible education to students based solely on merit, irrespective of their financial backgrounds. We welcome and will continue to take your input into consideration. Furthermore, LUMS has committed to provide significant financial support to those who need it most. Last year, one out of three students received financial support.
We hope this note helps to clarify some of the confusion and we look forward to responding to other questions and comments you might have.
Based on last year’s rate: Taking 12 CH (Rs. 32,033 x 12) = Rs. 384,396
12 CH = 12 x Rs. 24,100 =289,200 (Decrease)
16 CH = 16 x Rs. 24,100 = 385,600 (Approximately the Same)
20 CH = 20 x Rs. 24,100 = 482,000 (Increase)
- The cost per credit hour for the first 12 CH = Rs. 28,350. This explains the cost paid before the fee increase to be Rs. 28350 x 12 CH = Rs. 340,200
- Adjusted rate per CH based on external shocks (Rs 28,350 x 13%) = Rs. 32,033
- Based on the new structure without the external shocks increase, the cost per credit hour for 16 CH = Rs. 21,300. So the adjusted rate per CH based on external shocks (Rs 21,300 x 13%) = 24,100
- The university will ensure that final year students (seniors and super seniors) pay for the average cost of 16 credits and waive the fee for extra 4 credits in case they require 20 CH. It is also important to note that summer courses are still based on the pre-inflation rate Rs. 28,350 where 13% has not been applied. This is a significant financial incentive to take summer courses.
LUMS Fees 2020
May 4, 2020
LUMS fees for 2020 were determined before COVID-19 that is entirely consistent with prior years and took into account extraordinary increases in inflation, energy costs and currency devaluation. The increase determined for 2020 was 13% which we will monitor in determining the next fee card.
Furthermore, previously, a per semester blanket fee was being charged for students taking between 12 to 20 credit hours. This fee is now calculated on a per credit hour basis which will increase the semester fees for some and decrease it for others. The important point is that the total fee to meet graduation requirements does not change as a result of the shift to a per credit hour basis. One of the reasons for the shift is to discourage students from taking course overloads which negatively impacts their learning. LUMS fees cover a fraction of the total costs. As a not-for-profit university, gifts from donors, trustees, etc. help to subsidise one out of three students.