Each of the last three spring semesters, I have received a similar email from the college’s president.
First, it was former president Dick Celeste informing the students near the end of my first year that tuition was going to increase by a few percent. In the last two years, President Jill Tiefenthaler has done the same.
Last April, the community was told that CC would cost six percent more than it did the year before, representing a raise in the comprehensive fee to $54,534 up from the previous year’s $51,470.
Many were outraged, but the sentiment passed, and the community moved on.
According to college officials, students and their families can expect another rise this year.
Robert Moore, vice president for finance and administration, told The Catalyst in a Block 1 issue that he estimates the percentage increase for next year will be equal to or lower than the increase in 2013, sending the cost of attending CC over $55,000.
As much as I lament the fact that I have to graduate college and enter the real world, I can definitely say that I’m happy I won’t—really my parents won’t—have to keep paying more and more for my education.
Our education — this place — is priceless. But I do wonder what is going to happen to the college if, say, someday it costs over $60,000 to go to school here.
“Our applications are up again this year, after a significant increase in applications last year,” President Jill Tiefenthaler said last spring. “Students and families who are interested in CC are attracted to quality and value, not just price.”
Of course, but even well-to-do families with generous means and deep pockets might be sweating at the prospect of paying more than the 2011 median household income of roughly $50,000 as found by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Tiefenthaler has been outspoken about her calculated belief that what you pay for college is directly proportional to the quality of your education. As a Ph.D in economics with a focus on the economics of higher education, I’m not really qualified to question our president’s analysis.
However, as a student and a voice in student leadership, I have to say that I think we are all a little bit concerned.
I wouldn’t trade anything for the experiences I have had at CC or the vast pool of knowledge I’ve had access to, but if four years ago someone told me that I would be paying a cumulative increase in tuition of 20 percent over my span at the college, I might have reconsidered my early decision application.
“The very first sentence of our mission statement is ‘to provide the finest liberal arts education in the country,’ and the board takes that seriously,” Student Trustee Samantha Barlow, a 2013 graduate who voted in favor of the tuition raise, told The Catalyst last year.
I take that concept very seriously as well, but I’m not sold on the idea that the most expensive liberal arts education in the country is also the finest.