Our Rising Tuition

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With the American economy still in shambles, the tuition rises are not wholly unexpected. With Macalester staff and faculty accepting pay freezes, programming cuts, rumors that angry parents confronting Brian Rosenberg during the President’s Day conference call, it seems that everyone is a loser. While David Wheaton does not think that people’s impression of the college’s affordability will change, it seems that such a change is in some way inevitable.The Mac Weekly does not suggest that this problem is Macalester specific. Under the circumstances, there does not seem to be a way to keep tuition costs where they are and continue to ensure the quality of the institution. Now, what exactly quality means, we are not sure, but we will trust (for now) that less money for Macalester means less for students-even if we can’t define what less is.

We are, unquestioningly, sympathetic to those parents and students who find themselves in the middle bracket who can afford current tuition costs without financial aid but it will be a struggle to find the extra cash. Macalester is suffering from the same problems that the rest of the country is. Americans need affordable higher education. How we will achieve this and where the money will come from, The Mac Weekly staff cannot say.

In the midst of a discussion of what kinds of diversity the Macalester admissions staff should value, considering the blow to socio-economic diversity is no small concern. Macalester’s financial aid budget rises with tuition costs (which the Mac Weekly applauds) but is not need-blind (like most institutions).

Whether or not Macalester is known for its financial aid institutions, it is the Mac Weekly’s opinion that students from lower income families will still self-select and won’t apply to Macalester. This will hurt our classrooms and student activities, but more importantly, this is how the inequality gap in this country will continue to grow.