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A duty to reject

Jesse Laeuchli and Bryan Lowery | Wednesday, August 25, 2010

 Like most young alumni, we have been contacted by our Alma Mater with requests for financial support. While we cherished our time at the University, and would like to support its endeavors, we feel we must reject these requests and would like to share our reasoning.

Over the past 13 years, tuition at Notre Dame has risen at 228 percent of inflation. With tuition increases sky-rocketing in both good years and times like the present, where the average family has actually become poorer, we feel a misguided policy is being pursued.
The Administration claims that other “peer” universities are also raising rates, so they must follow suit. However, since in continually raising their rates these universities are acting contrary to their long term interests, it is foolish for Notre Dame to follow their lead. As tuition rates increase, the burden on students will increase, and while the most needy will continue to be fully supported and the rich will continue to be able to bear the cost, those of moderate means will be slowly squeezed out. Inevitably, some bright students will be forced to pursue a less rigorous education in order to avoid the resultant high levels of debt. This monetization of eduction is clearly harmful to both society, and to the universities involved, whose level of scholarship will suffer. The benefit of improved ranking and prestige is not worth the cost to our student body. Notre Dame should reject this self-destructive course of action, and become an example for other institutions, instead of joining them in their folly.

Notre Dame is a Catholic university, and as such has a special mission. In the book of Hebrews, we read advice instructing the early church how it can best fulfill its mission, advice we feel all Christians institutions should follow if they are to fulfill theirs: “Be ye free from the love of money.” Can any institution which continuously exacts more and more from a young and naive group really say in good conscience that it has fulfilled this commandment? We hope so, but we fear not.

 

Jesse Laeuchli
Bryan Lowery
alumni
Class of 2007
May 30