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College increases tuition by 4.76 percent

ALICIA SMITH | Friday, April 9, 2010

In order to maintain the quality of the academic and co-curricular programs at Saint Mary’s College, the Board of Trustees have authorized an increase in tuition for the 2010-11 academic year, Richard Speller, vice president for Finance and Administration said.

The percent of increase for the 2010-11 academic year will be 4.76 percent, raising tuition costs from $28,980 to 30,360. Additionally, Speller said fees will increase 3.77 percent, from $636 to $660. Students can also expect a 2.96 percent increase in room and board, making an average double room price rise from $9,206 to $9,480.

Speller said the projected increase is smaller than in previous years.

“Tuition increases for the four previous years were five percent each year,” Speller said.
Speller said the increases would be beneficial to enhance programs that directly affect students.

In the previous year, the College increased tuition and fees by five percent, and room and board by three percent.

“The increases are taken into account in determining financial aid awards and may impact need based financial aid, in particular,” he said.

Overall, the rate of increase for tuition, fees, room and board is 4.32 percent. The total increase for the 2009-10 academic year was 4.5 percent.

“The administration reviewed the need for pricing increases in the context of the projected 2010-11 budget,” Speller said. “The administration recommends the pricing structure to the Board of Trustees who have the final authority for the pricing decision. The Board of Trustees approved the 2010-11 student charges at its meeting in February.”

The College has continuously increased the cost of attendance since 2006. According to Speller, the total annual cost for the 2005-06 academic year was $32,538. The total cost of attendance for the 2010-11 academic year will be $40,500.

According to a College press release, 80 percent of Saint Mary’s operating revenue comes from tuition, room and board.

The College is also supported by gifts from alumnae and friends. Additionally the College gains financial resources through they earnings of the endowment.

Speller said a letter discussing price increases was sent to parents in March.