The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning

CA+P Differential Tuition Report (FY2019-2020)


The College of Architecture and Planning offers specialized, professional graduate education and offers the only accredited degrees in both architecture and planning in the state. Both professions have become increasingly technologically intense during this 21st century while simultaneously economic pressures common to higher education in the nation challenge the resource needs for offering the signature pedagogy of studio/workshop in these professions. These critical issues have been recognized by the College and its constituents and is addressed in numerous ways including a differential tuition paid by students.

The College first created a differential tuition in 2001 when Dean William Miller instituted Differential Tuition in order to support ancillary educational needs such as facilities and staffing of both a material fabrication shop and digital technology. In 2009, Dean Brenda Scheer secured a small increase to help offset the cost of the low student:faculty ratios associated with architecture and planning education. In 2017, after consultation with College Student Council and College (faculty and staff) Council over two years, Dean Diaz Moore secured approval by the Board of Trustees for the addition of a “zero-hour”differential tuition. In discussing this increase with students, the first priority of these dollars is to adequately resource the above-mentioned support services solely through differential tuition, freeing other dollars for the instructional mission. These freed-up dollars along with any additional dollars would be targeted for expenditure in two areas: high-impact learning experiences (such as study away, community engagement, and internship programs), and graduate student success (e.g. advising, career counseling, teaching opportunities, mentoring program).


The following chart outlines the revenues and expenditures regarding differential tuition in FY 19-20.








Student:Faculty Ratios

High-impact Learning Experiences

Student Success









As illustrated, the lion’s share of funding goes to reducing our student:faculty ratios by providing students access to well-regarded practicing professionals as instructors in select courses. With COVID-19 occurring in spring 2020, one might anticipate potential savings from items such as the shop or student success. But in general, the differential tuition expenses outlined here are about 95% in personnel costs, meaning savings only occur with lay-offs. Roles shifted, such as in IT from support for laptop functionality to wireless and on-line course delivery. Looking forward to the unknown of Fall 2020 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the College seeks to continue to support and maintain all of its personnel, but will consult with College Student Council if areas (such as the Shop) are unable to operate. Concomitantly, we are hearing from our adjunct faculty pool that online learning requires additional teaching preparation and the remuneration paid to these faculty does not appear to be commensurate with the time demanded. COVID-19 may actually place demands on the College to increase Differential Tuition to address this emerging issue.