The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Editorial: Stop the tuition madness


Macalesterƒ?TMs projected leap in tuition for the 2006-2007 school year is a devastating blow to students at a time when a liberal arts education is becoming increasingly unaffordable.Will Macalester, and the rest of the liberal arts schools price themselves out of the market for students with limited means? The numbers confirm a staggering trend. The price tag for a Macalester education went up 6.9 percent this year to $39,000. The two previous years also saw 6.9 percent increases in the overall cost.

At a continued 6.9 percent increase for the next ten years, the total rises to $76,000 in 2006 dollars. Even more conservative five percent increases for the next ten years would see a year at Macalester costing more than $60,000. Then multiply that by four years.

This sweeping rise will significantly outpace consumer and wage inflation. And the cost of a liberal arts education, already too expensive for many, would be affordable for only a select few, especially with the recent change to need-aware admissions.

It is disturbing that the college spent an entire year fighting to reduce the cost of financial aid, but failed to allocate any of those anticipated savings to a reduction in persistent tuition increases.

The most frightening thing about this issue is that there is no plan to address the situation. Administrators admit there is a problem, and they are studying it, yet they have no solutions.

The Administration is making a hasty decision to prioritize the need for revenue now rather than addressing the future implications of rising costs. This is a nearsighted way of addressing a problem that will haunt many in the immediate future.

Colleges everywhere, Macalester included, urgently need to take what may be a collective conversation about how to seriously control costs, toward a series of collective actions. The alternative is not one we can afford to face.

The opinions expressed above are those of The Mac Weekly, as determined by a board comprised of the Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editors and Opinion Editors. The perspectives are not representative of Macalester College.

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