The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Cyberchase: Saint Mary’s 2010s by the numbers

| Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Over the past 10 years, Saint Mary’s has experienced changes in tuition costs, enrollment and demographics, as well as growth in areas such as the endowment and inclusion. The College recently embarked on a multi-year campus renovation project and has consistently become more diverse in the last decade.

Here is a look at how the College has changed since 2010, focusing on cost of attendance, enrollment, demographics and endowment.

All information has been collected from the College’s most recent annual report unless stated otherwise.

Cost of attendance

Over the past 10 years, the cost of attendance at Saint Mary’s has consistently risen. 

Tuition saw a 44.6% increase since 2010, more than $13,000, according to the 2019-2020 Fact Book.

There has been a 43.9% increase in costs from $43,200 during 2010-2011 to $62,161 for the 2020-2021 full academic year according to the College financial aid site. This includes tuition and housing as well as an estimate for books, personal expenses and transportation.

All Saint Mary’s students received some sort of financial aid, with 88.1% of aid during the 2018-2019 school year coming from the institution, an increase from 2010-2011’s 85.1%.


Fall 2019 marked 1,578 students attending Saint Mary’s, including both undergraduate and graduate students. This is an increase from 2010’s 1,555 enrolled students, but this does not include graduate students. Enrollment for graduate programs began in 2015.

While 2019 boasted an increase in applicants and admitted students from the 10 years prior, enrollment rates have steadily decreased since 2015. The years between 2015 and 2019 show a 8.6% decrease in undergraduate enrollment from 419 students to 383.

“It is our goal to ensure that students are growing and developing in a broad cross-section of academic areas,” director of admission Sarah Gallagher Dvorak said in an Aug. 23 Observer article. “Additionally, we look for students who already exemplify the core values that make our College special: A passion and calling for serving others, leadership skills and a diversity of interests and variety of life experiences and backgrounds to help enrich the campus community.”


The College’s endowment saw a 71.1% increase in market value from $117,565,362 in 2010 to $201,131,308 in 2019.

Summer 2019 marked the beginning of many renovations to the Saint Mary’s campus. These changes were funded by the College’s endowment as well as an approved bond of up to $51.5 million.

“We are thankful to have a healthy endowment and a budget to support our campus’ rich history, maintain our high standards for students and fulfill our commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability,” said Dana Strait, vice president for strategy and finance, in an Aug. 14 press release.


Throughout the past decade, Saint Mary’s worked to increase the diversity of its student body. 

As of 2010, 83.3% of the student population was white, with less than 20% representing nonwhite demographics. The percentage of white students decreased to 75% in 2019.

Though the College is a Catholic institution, the percentage of Roman Catholic students has steadily decreased from 2014’s 79.6% to 2019’s 69.7%.

At the same time, the College’s percentage of first-generation students has steadily risen since 20.1% in 2014 to 27.2% in 2019.

In October 2019, Saint Mary’s announced Redgina L. Hill as the new executive director of inclusion and equity.

“I am extremely pleased to be welcoming Redgina Hill into this role,” Interim President Nancy Nekvasil said in an Oct. 11 release. “She brings an incredible amount of experience and enthusiasm to help carry forward our agenda of continual increase in access for students from all backgrounds. This is an important step at Saint Mary’s College as we seek to create a welcoming, diverse community where all have an opportunity to succeed.”

Tags: , , , , ,

About Maria Leontaras

Maria Leontaras is a senior at Saint Mary's pursuing a student-designed major in Interactive Journalism with minors in mathematics and Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. Maria used to serve as the Editor-in-Chief of The Observer when she wasn't busy tweeting about movies and One Direction.

Contact Maria