Fiskeaux said the decision was made after gauging some of the effects of the economic climate on families and how that would affect the college's enrollment.
"As a private institution, we rely significantly on tuition and enrollment," Fiskeaux said. "We are working to keep a solid enrollment, maintain an even enrollment."
Fiskeaux added that he considers the freeze a proactive approach to enrollment issues rather than a reactive one.
"There were no warning signs other than the general discussion of families having difficulties," he said. "The only uncertainty is a statistic that we call deposits from students who have been accepted for next year. That is slower compared to previous years. The number of students who are applying has actually increased, but students are slower in making a commitment on deposits due to the financial world. So we are responding earlier rather than later."
According to the college's Web site, the current tuition cost for full-time students is $22,242 for 13 to 18 credit hours, plus $3,206 for room and $2,208 for board, bringing the total cost of one year at the school to $27,656. In order to maintain those levels, the college will be looking at other ways to cut costs.
One of the most prominent changes will be that faculty and staff will not be receiving their annual pay raises next year.
"I thought the best way we could help students to have an Asbury experience is to hold tuition flat," Gray said. "But what happens when you do that, you've got to freeze everything else, too. So we've said to our faculty and staff, there's no pay raise; we're going to hold all of our expense lines that are discretionary. We're going to hold them constant, just as a way of trying to weather this time."
Gray has also begun holding town hall meetings with students and faculty to discuss ways that they can conserve costs by limiting the use of utilities.
"My next talk with them is going to be, 'Let's roll our sleeves up now and see what you can do,'" she said. "It's interesting because the students are really beginning to say, 'When I stay in the shower 15 minutes instead of five, that really does mean that it's taking somebody's financial aid that could come if you weren't paying as much on the water bill.' They are actually connecting the dots. Some of the things might save pennies, but you add them all up, and it makes a difference."
Gray said she hopes the spirit of conservation can carry over to the future of the campus. She said an energy-aware campus would be an ideal representation of some of Asbury's values.
"For me, it's not just about helping us get through this financial crisis - it really is a long-term conversation," she said. "We don't need to be wasting water and electricity and dollars in other ways, good times or bad. It's really about stewardship in a long term way that this financial environment is causing us to take a look at now."
Scholarships could also be affected due to endowment funds being worth less this year than the previous year, Gray said.
"We take the earnings off those endowment accounts, and it's the earnings off of endowment that are used for financial aid," she said. "So endowment earnings are down, which means there is potential for financial aid to be down."