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Differential Tuition

The Jon M. Huntsman School of Business charges tuition over and above the tuition required by the university. This “differential” tuition was instituted in 2007 with the support of our students and approved by the Utah State University Board of Trustees and the state Board of Regents.

Current differential tuition per credit hour is as per below for Academic Year (AY) 2016-17:

  • Undergraduate lower division (1000 & 2000-level courses) - $2
  • Undergraduate upper division (3000, 4000 & 5000-level courses) - $137
  • Graduate (6000 & 7000 -level courses) - $429

Per approval by former USU President Stan Albrecht, the USU Board of Trustees, and the State of Utah Board of Regents, differential tuition for undergraduate upper-division courses increased $20 per credit hour in AY 2016-17 and will increase by an additional $20 per credit hour next year, AY 2017-2018. Differential tuition for graduate level courses increased by $40 per credit hour in AY 2016-17 and will increase by an additional $40 per credit hour next year, AY 2017-18.

Market forces are driving the need for differential tuition. Enrollment has increased 16 percent from 2007 to today, we continue to introduce new academic and extracurricular programs, and we continue to revise curriculum. An increase in the number of students and an increase in the number and types of courses and programs means that we must hire new faculty and staff. And across the US, faculty teaching business disciplines are in such high demand that the average salary of new business assistant professors is 36 percent higher than that of new non-business assistant professors.

We want our students to be informed about their education and we welcome input from all of our stakeholders. The Huntsman School Differential Tuition Advisory Board, comprised of students, faculty, and staff, is just one mechanism through which we ensure full accounting and transparency for differential tuition. This website is another means by which we promote open access to information.  

We take seriously the responsibility of effectively and efficiently deploying the resources that our students, alumni, and friends provide. We do not ask for more resources from any of our stakeholders without a compelling need. We are committed to utilizing these resources to their highest and best use as we pursue our mission to build a great business program at USU. We have no hesitation about sharing with others the use to which we have put these resources.

We have also provided detailed information, based on feedback from our students, about the use and need for differential tuition in the FAQ section below.

Please feel free to contact Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Vijay Kannan with any questions or concerns at

The Jon M. Huntsman School of Business charges additional tuition over and above the tuition required by the university for upper-division undergraduate business courses and for graduate courses. This practice is consistent with many other business schools across the nation.

At the Huntsman Business School, and at Utah State University as a whole, enrollment, or demand, has increased, but budgets for faculty and staff, or supply, have not kept pace. We are faced with a decision to cut enrollment (demand) or increase cost (supply). Supply and demand also applies to the hiring of faculty. Enrollment (demand) has increased but the number of qualified faculty (supply) is declining.

We do not want to cut enrollment for a variety of reasons. Utah State, through its land-grant mission, plays a role in providing access to higher education to all who qualify. Further, we believe the Huntsman School is gaining momentum through quality teaching, research and programs, and we want as many outstanding as possible to share in the Huntsman experience.

Schools of business have been hit by a “perfect storm” of increased salaries, retirements and a “war for talent” in the last few years. According to AACSB, our accreditation agency, there is a 36 percent cost premium to hire an assistant professor in a business discipline versus hiring an assistant professor in a non-business discipline (See The explosion of demand for business professors and the reduction in supply has led to a rapid increase in salaries. Without additional resources to recruit and retain top faculty, the quality of a USU business degree is threatened.

With rising enrollment, we must find ways to pay for more faculty members and more staff to serve our students appropriately. Increases in enrollment will also result in a comparable increase in department, program, and infrastructure expenses. Assuming existing funding support from the legislature and from university sources continues at similar percentages that we currently experience, differential tuition is critical in meeting these additional expenses.

Differential tuition is used to cover costs associated with the following:

  1. Salaries and benefits for Huntsman School faculty and staff
  2. New and existing student experiential programs
  3. Some administrative infrastructure and operating expenses

Salaries and benefits: The vast majority of differential tuition revenues go to pay faculty and staff. Currently 59 faculty and staff members are fully or partially funded by differential tuition. Many of the faculty and staff supported through differential tuition are instrumental in our aspiration to become a top-tier business program. Without them, we simply could not teach the number of courses nor offer program support in our student advising, entrepreneurship, study abroad or graduate programs as we do today.

Many of the new faculty and staff are instrumental in the strategic implementation of programs and student offerings such as an expanded internship program, career acceleration program, entrepreneurship and global engagement programs, expanded student advising, and support staff for our enhanced MBA, MHR, and MMIS graduate programs.

New and existing student extracurricular programs: We believe that “outside-the-classroom” learning is as important as “inside-the-classroom” learning and provide our students with a variety of experiential opportunities to further understanding of practical business methods. Our goal is to seed these programs with funding from the school, with a clear objective for the programs to become self-funded within a set timeframe. Differential tuition helps to cover costs associated with our international and entrepreneurship programs, as well as our career services.

Administrative infrastructure: This category of expenses includes things like marketing, assessment, accreditation, advancement, and administrative support.

The Utah State Board of Regents provided authority to use differential tuition for faculty and staff salaries, to support programs that benefit all students, and for administrative infrastructure. The below table details the allocation of resources per those categories for the three most recent years for which we have complete, audited data.

Differential Tuition Report FY2011 - FY2015









    $3,457,978 $4,462,844 $5,389,473 $6,884,870 $6,071,542 $7,045,738



Faculty $1,360,207 $1,862,659 $3,153,165 $3,368,136 $3,581,407 $3,486,162
Staff $1,599,387 $1,847,302 $1,433,316 $1,386,785 $671,683 $541,159


Program Support $714,227 $720,008 $ 730,814 $895,817 $912,348 $1,373,934

Career & Student Services

$100,932 $59,305 $60,006 $119,524  $191,068 $285,979


$1,120 $0 $427 $19,828  $22,643 $60,426


$126,105 $84,569 $189,661 $146,824  $160,163 $248,266

International Programs

$225,064 $139,819 $63,617 $20,563  $50,727 $56,844

Student Recruiting, Receptions/Events

$41,438 $80,095 $75,794 $103,432  $94,808 $108,259


$68,090 $51,193 $5,359 $27,321  $49,438 $116,518

Curriculum Development and Software

$32,221 $10,641 $4,239 $16,173  $13,214 $15,681

Student Wages

$72,653 $112,733 $201,460 $202,578  $196,513 $254,315


$46,605 $181,653 $130,251 $239,575  $133,774 $227,646
Administrative Infrastructure $759,104 $525,147 $538,984 $548,631 $635,651 $1,138,399

Faculty Research & Development

$197,457 $119,002 $239,474 $262,627  $318,789 $548,582


$195,483 $204,320 $161,170 $169,130  $154,625 $392,771

Student Wages

$128,300 $135,145 $82,928 $52,184  $88,628 $85,706


$237,864 $66,680 $55,412 $64,691  $73,609 $65,689
  Total Expenditures $4,432,925 $4,955,166 $5,856,279 $6,199,369 $5,751,089 $6,539,655


-$974.947 -$492,272 -$466,806 -$314,499  $11,453 $506,083

*Departments includes transfers made to departments for department events, visiting faculty
**Other (Programs) includes student clubs and small programs (e.g. ethical leadership)
***Other (Administrative Infrastructure) includes supplies, employee training, phone, network, non-payroll personnel expenses, etc.

Yes, all students pay $2 per credit hour for lower level business undergraduate courses, $137 per credit hour for upper level undergraduate courses, and $429 per credit hour for graduate courses. This “differential” tuition was first instituted in 2007 with approval by the Utah State University Board of Trustees and the Utah State Board of Regents.

Differential tuition is used as a supplement for USU tuition. This additional resource is necessary due to increasing enrollment, new courses, increasing costs to support faculty and staff salaries, and new and expanding programs to support our aspiration to create a top-tier business school.

State funding is not controlled by the Huntsman School or USU. The Utah state budget, like state budgets everywhere, is very tight. We continue to work with state legislators to find ways to better fund higher-education but we cannot depend on state funding to keep pace with demand.

Jon Huntsman challenged us to create a program whose students could compete with the best and brightest in the world. This is our journey to top tier.

Over the past ten years, our students have received national, regional, and university recognition, including the Truman Scholarship (for only the fourth time in USU history), the Goldwater Scholarship, three Elijah Watt Sells Awards, and closer to campus, USU Man of the Year, USU Woman of the Year, the Bill Robins Memorial Award, Whitesides Scholar Athlete of the Year, and national championships in finance, marketing, and management information systems competitions.

We have also brought aboard faculty from renowned programs such as Harvard, Chicago (Aspen Gorry and Devon Gorry), Northwestern, Pepperdine, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, and many others.

We have created 12 new academic and extracurricular programs, including a new Master’s degree program (MSFE), minors in entrepreneurship and real estate, the Clark Center for Entrepreneurship and the FJ Management Center for Student Success.

We had a 95 percent placement rate this past year, with a commensurate increase in the quality of placements, including 103 Aggies at Goldman Sachs, placements the past five years in a row at Honeywell, and with nationally-known employers visiting the Huntsman School on a weekly basis.

This value proposition has come with an increase in enrollment, scholarships, and philanthropy. Enrollment of high ability high school students directly into the Huntsman School is up 206 percent, with scholarship support provided by the Huntsman School increasing by 656 percent. Overall philanthropy to the school has increased 543 percent.

We live in a global, dynamic economy, and change is the one constant in our world. Our curriculum must keep pace with these changes in order to provide a relevant education. For example, marketing techniques have completely changed with the advent of social media and smart phones. Human capital management must take into account global workforces and diverse cultures. Operations must carefully weigh supply chains with stops around the world. In short, we want to prepare our students to meet the needs of tomorrow, not yesterday.

Curriculum Changes

Differential tuition applies to approximately one-third of all courses taken in earning a bachelor’s degree. For the typical full-time student, differential tuition would apply to seven out of 10 courses per year during the junior and senior years, or 21 out of 30 credits per year.

According to a 2013 survey by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, there is a 36 percent cost premium to hire new business faculty versus the cost to hire new non-business faculty. This cost premium is largely due to a shortage of business faculty relative to the demand for their services. Allocations from the university often do pay for new faculty members, but they are not enough to recruit and retain the type of faculty members we want to bring to the Huntsman School. The gap in funding created by the need to recruit and retain outstanding faculty members versus available resources is the very driver for our need and proposal for increasing differential tuition.

The Utah State University President initially reviews the proposal. Per approval, the proposal is considered by the USU Board of Trustees. Per their approval, the proposal is reviewed and approved by the Utah State Board of Regents. The Board of Regents is the approving authority for any tuition increase for public institutions. Please note that anyone seeking approval by either the USU Board of Trustees or the State Board of Regents must provide substantial documentation supporting their proposal.

Students are a vital stakeholder of the Huntsman School. The Huntsman School Differential Tuition Advisory Board is comprised of students, faculty, and staff, modeled on the existing USU Student Fee Board. They review the use of differential tuition annually and recommend ways to allocate funds from future differential tuition.

Board Charter

We believe we have created a great value proposition. A dynamic and expanding curriculum, outstanding and dedicated faculty and staff, and engaged alumni and friends provide a great environment to set up our students for success. The resource provided by our students through differential tuition has enabled the school to create and provide curricular and experiential opportunities, and even with the proposed increase, we remain at a distinct price advantage relative to our peer public institutions across the region.

This is hard to predict, primarily because we do not control state funding. We are optimistic of the future of the business school, and are very focused on our mission to deliver an outstanding business education to our students. We will continue to work with state legislators to find ways to better fund higher-education, and to explore ways to create additional revenue streams.

No. All of our scholarships are funded through the generous support of our alumni and friends.

We understand the financial burden of tuition cost, and we have worked diligently to increase the support provided through scholarships to help defray some of those costs. Scholarship support from the Huntsman School has increased 656 percent over the past ten years, with over $1.5 million in scholarships awarded by the Huntsman School for the current academic year. It is important to note that all scholarship support comes from money given to us by our alumni and friends.

No. Differential tuition is not used to support the travel or scholarship grants of the Huntsman Scholar Program students. The Huntsman Scholar Program is funded by a generous donation by the Jon and Karen Huntsman Foundation.

No. The new building for the Huntsman School is funded by the generous support of our alumni and friends and the support of the state legislature.

Since 2007, support from our alumni and to the Huntsman School has increased by 543 percent. This generous support has funded construction of a new building to help us address the need for more space for classrooms and teaching facilities. We also use private funding to increase support to faculty and to student scholarships. Since 2007, scholarship support from the Huntsman School has increased 656 percent, with $1,500,000 awarded by the Huntsman School to our students during academic year 2016-2017.

Vijay KannanVijay Kannan

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs