Whitman’s Yearly Tuition Increase Lowest in Decade

The Board of Trustees have set tuition to $44,440 for the 2014-2015 academic year, a 2.9 percent increase from last year. Room and board costs and the Associated Students of Whitman College fee were also raised to $11,228 and $360 respectively, according to an email President George Bridges sent out to Whitman students and parents last night.

The tuition increase, down from last year’s hike of 3.25 percent and 2011′s 4 percent increase, appears to be in line with national trends. It is also the lowest increase in the last decade.

This year’s budget was drafted, as in past years, with input from the Budget Advisory Committee, a group of faculty, staff and student representatives who submit their ideas to the Board of Trustees in the fall before the budget is finalized in March.

Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer Peter Harvey hopes that Whitman’s tuition increases will remain relatively low in the future, thanks in part to the Now is the Time Campaign, which is meant to increase the endowment.

“It’s always a tough balance between keeping it affordable and making an investment in the college,” said Harvey. “We’re looking for ways to try to be more cost-effective and lower other expenses, but we also have requests for things like new faculty positions from students, faculty and staff …. It’s a balancing act.”

Harvey pointed to the new counseling position as an example of a development that the college must work into its budget.

The overall downward pattern in Whitman’s tuition increases over the past three years roughly mirrors peer institutions in the Northwest and nationwide. Swarthmore College’s board approved a 3 percent tuition increase two weeks ago, while Dartmouth College approved a 2.9 percent increase in total student fees. In the Pacific Northwest, Reed College’s increase is on the higher end at approximately 3.7 percent.




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