SMC announces tuition increase
Kelly Konya | Thursday, March 27, 2014
The Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees recently announced a 3.85 percent increase in tuition and fees and room and board for the upcoming school year, according to a press release issued by director of media relations Gwen O’Brien.
Tuition and fees are set at $35,970 and room and board will be $10,930, meaning the total cost to attend the College is now $46,900 per year, the press release stated.
Vice president for finance and administration Susan Bolt said these changes happen annually when the College plans its operating budget for the coming year. Like all businesses, Saint Mary’s faces rising costs for health care, transportation, food, publications, technology and even postage, she said.
Bolt said the College nonetheless commits to providing students with a high quality, affordable education and an experience that nurtures academic, spiritual and emotional development.
“We look for opportunities to reduce or hold flat most expenses but also carefully assess our students’ financial aid needs so that we remain true to our mission and serve those with limited financial resources,” she said.
For many students, it is more economical to attend Saint Mary’s than to enroll even at a public university, O’Brien said. Nearly one third of the operating budget is devoted to financial aid, she said.
Tuition and room and board represent 80 percent of the College’s operating revenue, while the remaining 20 percent is supported by donations from alumnae and by earnings on the College’s endowment, O’Brien said.
Bolt said this upcoming year’s increases are consistent with national trends.
“[The changes] are benchmarked against our peers and competitors’ total cost and annual percent change,” Bolt said. “Saint Mary’s tuition and fees and room and board annual percent change and total cost was less than average for our private competitors in each of the last three years.”
Business student and junior Madison Maidment said she is not surprised by the increase and does not think it will affect any of the students or incoming students in a significant way.
“Tuition increases every year, which is the reality of attending private universities that are constantly improving and expanding in new directions,” Maidment said. “The financial aid office here does an excellent job working to benefit as many students as possible, and I think these changes will hopefully bring about even more generosity of our College’s endowment fund on the part of present benefactors and fundraisers.”