Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Sewanee Only College to Lower Tuition

Bucking national university trends, a liberal arts college in Tennessee announced its plans to lower tuition by 10 percent this fall on Feb. 16.

Lowering tuition will enable Sewanee College to compete with other public institutions’ rates as well as compete with private institutions’ tuitions that are likely to be raised for this fall, according to The New York Times.

Sewanee Vice Chancellor John McCardell attributed the tuition drop to the fact that many Americans who are struggling economically consider the affordability of higher education one of their top concerns, according to a video on the Sewanee website

“Higher education is on the verge of pricing itself beyond the reach of more and more families.  The goal is very simple — to make a top rated liberal arts education more accessible to more of the best students,” McCardell said in the video.

At this point, Sewanee is financially stable enough to carry through with the tuition cuts so that endowments can fill in the tuition gaps where necessary, according to The New York Times.

The education of a single student at the college level costs more than the tuition itself, but subsidies are responsible for covering the rest of these costs, according to a study by the Delta Cost Project, an organization based out of Washington, D.C. that collects data and analyzes information necessary to help improve college affordability.

The amount of money required to educate a student has remained fairly constant, according to the Delta Cost Project website. Rising tuition rates are caused not by rising costs but by a drop in the amount of subsidy money going toward that education.

With this shift in funds, increases in tuition have become the general pattern seen at universities today.

About 12 schools have frozen their tuitions this year and none have lowered them other than Sewanee, according to the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

Some schools, however, are making efforts to moderate the amount by which they raise their tuitions.

Georgetown has raised its tuition by about 3 percent for the past three years. The 2.9 percent jump for the 2009-2010 academic year was the smallest percent increase since 1973 for the school.

University Provost James O’Donnell said that tuition here at Georgetown is expected to rise in the future but that the university does what it can to keep an education on the Hilltop affordable.

“We’re always looking to balance what it takes to deliver the best possible experience with our awareness of the challenges that tuition increases mean for our students and families,” O’Donnell said.

Georgetown, like many other schools, has programs in place that help students pay for an expensive education, despite some students’ lower incomes and difficulties securing loans.

“We have the 1789 Scholarship Imperative underway, designed to raise money to make sure that wherever tuition goes, we can continue to make Georgetown affordable by ‘meet-full-need’ financial aid at a level that we can be proud of,” O’Donnell said.

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