Maryville College is set to receive a two percent tuition increase for the 2018-2019 academic year. The increase comes after the Executive Committee of Maryville College’s Board of Directors elected to raise tuition for next year. The official memorandum sent out on Feb. 16 by President Bogart to students, faculty and staff cites, “We continually take measures to keep costs contained and minimize increases, but we also experience rising costs for outside goods and services.”
I asked Bogart for more information regarding the tuition increase, and about the process by which the tuition was increased.
“The Board approves the College budget every year,” he said. “Part of that approval process includes tuition and fees. The budget includes both revenues and expenditures, and the expectation is that the expenditures will not exceed revenues. The College staff prepares estimates of tuition revenues based on projected enrollment of new students and returning students. There are also forecasts of giving to the Maryville Fund and decisions about how much income from the endowment to use. There are several dimensions to considering the level of tuition. They include the impact on the ability to recruit and retain students, affordability, and comparison to other schools.”
The decision to increase tuition, however unpopular it may be, is one made after careful considerations of multiple financial outlets and inlets.
Some may remember last year’s tuition increase as well, which occured at around the same point in the spring semester. The last tuition increase was at the two percent mark as well, and I was curious as to why it seems like every tuition increase is at this number.
“In every year but one that I have been president, the tuition increase has been two percent or less,” Bogart said. “The most widely used measure of inflation for colleges is called the Higher Education Price Index. It focuses on the cost drivers specific to colleges and universities, and it tends to be a little higher than the most familiar inflation measure, the Consumer Price Index.”
So two percent is really not all that high considering that colleges across the country use a price inflation index to determine how much more tuition per annum should increase.
Finally, I was curious about the student responses to the increase.
“No one is ever happy with an increase,” Bogart said. “However, we are doing everything possible to be good and prudent stewards of the funds that people entrust to us. We are focused on making sure that the quality of education is high and that resources are devoted to people and programs that have the most positive impact on students. I am always happy to engage in discussion with students about this topic or any other issue regarding Maryville College. One way to do so is to come to my open office hour, which is published each week. Alternatively, I can be reached by email or phone or an appointment can be made to meet me. Or just stop me on campus and we can talk.”