Dear 100 Hour Board,
Is BYU really subsidized by tithing funds (which, rumor has it, is what makes BYU so cheap)? I know that is what everyone says, but I heard recently that this isn't, in fact, true. Where could I find actual financial information about BYU's income and expenditures (like, how much it actually costs for a student to attend BYU)?
For an official source, I refer you to this Y Facts page about BYU's tuition:
A significant portion of the cost of operating the university is paid from the tithes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Therefore, students and families of students who are tithe-paying members of the Church have already made a contribution to the operation of the university. Because others will not have made this contribution, they are charged a higher tuition, a practice similar in principle to that of state universities charging higher tuition to nonresidents.
BYU doesn't make its finances public; as a private university, it's not required to. So unfortunately, you can't see the exact figures, but rest assured that the cost of attending BYU is significantly subsidized by tithing. However, there are some unofficial figures here and here; the most recent estimate is that around 70% of the university's operating costs are paid for by tithing. Note that even students who aren't LDS are partially subsidized by tithing.