Tuition will not increase for the next academic year
Students and checkbooks rejoiced when it was announced that no tuition increase would be implemented for the 2014-2015 academic year.
In a recent email from the Rev. Kevin Wildes, S.J., to faculty and staff, it was announced that current tuition prices would not be changed and that there would be a "modest" increase in room and board next year.
Wildes was advised not to increase tuition at the Board of Trustees meeting after receiving several recommendations regarding tuition from the University Budget Committee and the Finance Committee.
Roberta Kaskel, interim vice president of enrollment management, and Marc Manganaro, provost and vice president of academic affairs, said that University Budget Committee first modeled what a 2.5 percent increase in tuition would look like.
Kaskel and Manganaro said that the possible 2.5 percent increase was already a reduced increase from earlier years and that consultants, the Lawlor Group and Scannel & Kurz, said the possible increase would not be an irresponsible one.
Kaskel said that in deciding not to increase tuition, the board and committee had to be very mindful of putting the needs of students and their families first.
"We understand that we are still in a difficult economic market for families," Kaskel said. "At the end of the day you need to make some choices about whether or not you are at a point where your care and concern for the student, for the returning student and the incoming student, and the needs of family, need to outweigh some potential loss of revenue."
Wildes said that the decision was ultimately made at the Board of Trustees meeting.
"The board felt that in these sensitive times it might just be good to say that we are going to hold the line," Wildes said.
Wildes said that it was the first time that he could remember that the Board had to do a roll call, because the votes were so close.
"It was very close, but the overall sense was given the nature of the concerns across the United States about the cost of education, this is a good message for us to send," Wildes said.
Manganaro said that current tuition rates would also stand for graduate and law programs.
"At the level of our graduate programs and law, similarly, we are not enacting any tuition increases in those areas," Manganaro said.
In the same announcement, Wildes also said that there would be a modest increase in both room and board.
Cissy Petty, vice president for student affairs and associate provost, said that there would be an 2.9 percent increase in room and a 3 percent increase for board.
Petty said that the increase in room costs is to assist in continuing to address any deferred maintenance in the residence hall.
The price of board is increasing to accommodate higher food costs for the university food provider, Sodexo, Petty said.
"It's important that we continue to update facilities and to have a robust meal program," Petty said.
According to the university website, the cost of room is currently $7,190 and the cost of board is $4,672, resulting in increased totals of $7,398 and $4,812 respectively.
Despite these slight increases, Kaksel said that she hopes the decisions to not raise tuition will take some of the financial weight off of students and their education.
"I hope to give our returning students a little bit more freedom in terms of being able to meet their obligations to the university, take a little bit of that burden off," Kaskel said.
Kaskel said that she hopes that the university sees an increase in retention because of these decisions.
"For our families that are coming to us new, I would hope that they see that this is a university commitment to making education affordable," Kaskel said.
The university is expecting to bring in slightly over 600 students for next year's incoming class, she said.
"We believe that will turn out to be for us a robust class with no decline in quality or diversity," Kaskel said.
Wildes said that he thinks these pricing decisions will be beneficial to students.
"I think they will be happy. It's certainly not going to hurt us," Wildes said.
Wildes said that despite all of the changes, Loyola is still committed to its students.
"The decision to keep tuition at the current rate affirms our commitment to making a liberal arts and sciences education at a private Jesuit university affordable for current students as well as future ones," Wildes said.
Alicia Serrano can be contacted at email@example.com
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