The University Board of Trustees meets Friday to approve the administration’s proposed tuition increase, which is expected to be above the inflation rate at about four to five percent. Administrators will say that tuition hikes are needed to cover all the top-end amenities and services at GW, but a tuition increase, like any budgeted revenue, is a choice.
The University seems to forget in its efforts to improve the University that GW’s price is often as important to students and families as the services it provides. Keeping tuition increase closer to the inflation rate should be a higher priority when creating the budget, ranking up near academic and structural improvements.
In a lagging economy many parents are tightening their belts and it is tougher to afford college tuition, but GW remains in relatively good financial health. So why then do the above-inflation rate tuition hikes continue? It makes it seem that the University shows no compassion to its students and is solely concentrated in operating like a for-profit business.
GW is a tuition-based university, meaning students carry much of the school’s financial burden. Trustees have the power to lessen this burden by planning on less revenue from tuition, limiting the increase in demand of funds each year or by looking at the University’s alternate sources of revenue.
Eventually, students will start to question whether a GW degree is worth the price tag. According to U.S. News and World Report, GW students graduate with the fifth highest debt in the nation. A four-year degree at this year’s tuition price costs about $111,000 – not counting room and board. With an increasingly tough job market, it might take years to ever recoup such an investment.
The University needs to take a look at its market – and make sure its prices remain competitive