GW tuition increases top other universities

GW tuition increases in recent years is similar to hikes at other institutions around the country. Boston, Emory, Northwestern and Yale universities each have been increasing at similar rates for the past several years for technology upgrades, facilities and faculty raises, although GW’s is the highest.

While GW officials cited the school’s popularity as a reason for the increasing tuition in a Feb. 14 Hatchet article, Emory University officials said the number of applicants does not affect price. Emory tuition went up 4.2 percent to $25,552 last year, according to The Emory Wheel, with a total price tag of about $36,492 with room and board.

Emory admissions counselor Scott Schambergerg said the school has increased its tuition by about 4 percent in each of the last five years and has not yet announced next year’s increase.

“In the last five years, the tuition at Emory has increased due to: increasing faculty, construction on campus, renovating old buildings, technological advances, modernizing classrooms and remodeling residence halls,” Schambergerg said.

Boston University spokesman Colin Riley cited similar reasons for the school’s tuition hikes. He said the school has increased tuition 3 to 4 percent over the past five years. GW’s increases have averaged about 5 percent during the same period.

GW raised tuition by 4.9 percent to $27,820 and $36,570 including room and board for next year.

BU tuition will hit $27,042 next year, up from $25,872, Riley said.

“Colleges and universities are labor-intensive industries. Boston University tries to keep its tuition hikes as low as possible, but it is a fact of life that increases are not completely unavoidable,” Riley said. “Costs increase every year, because the cost of things like healthcare, faculty recruitment, dental benefits, etc., also increase every year.”

BU is undertaking a 10-year, $750 million construction and growth project, Riley said. Improvements coming out of the program include a $200 million arena, a new residence hall for $85 million, a boathouse and increases in faculty and management, he said.

Riley also said poor economic performance in the last fiscal year caused tuition increases.

Yale University recently announced at 3.9 percent tuition increase to $27,130 with an overall price of $35,370, said Loni Baxter, a Yale University research associate.

In the past five years, undergraduate tuition at Yale has increased an average 3.5 percent, she said.

GW officials previously said tuition needs to be increased until the University’s endowment and alumni giving rates grow.

Baxter said endowment and tuition are two separate entities and that Yale’s $10.7 billion endowment is used to balance out books depending on the rise of costs and does not directly influence tuition decisions.

Riley agreed that endowment and tuition are not related.

Northwestern University has not announced its tuition increase for next
year yet. Tuition increased between 4.8 and 5.7 percent during the past four years, said Darryl O’Daniel, the assistant director of student accounts at Northwestern.

O’Daniel said tuition rose from $22,392 to $25,839 since 1998 for construction projects, other facilities costs and faculty pay.

While Emory and Northwestern have yet to announce increases for the next year, Riley said BU has announced tuition increases by the end of first semester. He said BU is one of the first schools in the country to post its tuition for the following academic year by December.

“We do this in order to be extremely up front with students and their parents. By getting the letter to students early in the new year, we hope to get them focused on their finances and ways of paying tuition,” Riley said. “It is also an up-front and honest way of letting people know exactly how much they are going to have to pay the next academic year.”

GW traditionally announces the tuition increase the first week in February.

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