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Frugality Borne of Faith

February 2020

: In 2018, sixty-eight percent of donations to BYU-Idaho went to university aid, 27 percent went to the university’s annual fund, and the remaining four percent were gifts in kind or other donations.

Woven deep into the fabric of Brigham Young University-Idaho are two crucial threads: frugality and a focus on individual students. The university’s mission statement includes a goal to deliver “education that is affordable for students and the Church.”

And within the university’s foundational documents, you’ll find this quotation from President Henry B. Eyring’s 2001 devotional “A Steady, Upward Course”:

The people here have treated all they had as the Lord’s and always counted it as enough.

And they have used it as if it was the offering of the poorest widow to her Lord and to His kingdom. Nor have they felt badly treated when the Lord asked them to take less and yet give more. Because of that faithful obedience and sacrifice, I certify the Lord has poured out His Spirit here.

Just as President Eyring foretold, BYU-Idaho’s administration and employees have mastered the art of doing more with less. From 2005 to 2015, BYU-Idaho’s tuition rate actually decreased compared to the rate of inflation, and since 2015 it has matched the inflation rate. During that same 14-year period, the university’s on-campus enrollment nearly doubled.

“We’re trying to make it as affordable as possible,” says Jeff Morrin, BYU-Idaho’s vice president of university resources. “For the foreseeable future, we will continue to increase tuition every year at the rate of inflation.”

Nonetheless, even with BYU-Idaho’s tuition rate being among the most affordable in higher education, there are students who struggle to cover the costs of college attendance. Approximately three-quarters of BYU-Idaho students rely on some form of financial aid, whether Pell Grants, student loans, grants, or scholarships.

BYU-Idaho’s answer to the problem of student need is to provide university aid through the Thomas E. Ricks Grant, which helped more than 6,000 BYU-Idaho students in the 2018–19 school year. Just over 69 percent of the $6.3 million donated to BYU-Idaho in 2018 went to need-based aid for students, and another 27 percent went to the university’s unrestricted fund, which is frequently used to provide additional need-based aid.

“Everyone I talk to who is receiving this sort of help is super grateful,” says BYU-Idaho student Ashlyn Brinkman, whom you can read more about inside this issue of the President’s Report. “I heard one person say they wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for that help.”

BYU-Idaho and its students welcome and appreciate the generosity of donors who wish to make a difference through need-based university aid. Those gifts make a tremendous difference.