By Alisha Dhar
William Peace University president Dr. Ralph announced in January that tuition for the 2022-2023 year will increase by 2%, with a total of $32,550 going towards tuition and $12,040 for basic room and board. These increases are being seen not just at WPU, but across the nation as the cost of college increases at a rapid pace.
In his email, Ralph said the increase would go towards areas such as new majors, educational labs, new flooring in academic halls, financial aid, and improving the efficiency and reliability of the internet across campus.
Many students find this increase as a negative towards their college experience.
“I am frustrated about this increase because I already feel that the money we pay now isn’t going to good use,” said Jasseli Gutierrez, a sophomore criminal justice major.
For some students, an increase might mean the difference between finishing their education at Peace or transferring to a more affordable school.
“I do enjoy school here at Peace but I have to think about how much the 2% increase will affect me,” said Alexis Inman, a freshman exercise and sports science major. “As a student that comes from a lower income family, the increase may affect me staying here. If it ends up being a drastic change in how much I’m paying I may have to look for another institution to attend.”
Even though students are frustrated about this increase, Peace is one among thousands of institutions that has been forced to increase tuition.
Both public and private universities are seeing an increase in tuition which could be attributed to economic trends, student loans, or the fact that it is taking students longer to graduate. Data from U.S. News shows an increase in private school tuition from $36,898 in 2017 to a whopping $43,775 in 2022, an increase of over $6,000 within five years.
Many universities find themselves having no other option than to raise tuition due to the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to an article written by Forbes magazine, many larger universities have lost billions of dollars due to the pandemic and raising tuition is the only way to compensate for the lost tuition.
With a current graduation rate of 31%, the increase might hurt efforts to keep students at Peace to finish their degrees rather than transferring to a more affordable option.
“It’s too late to go anywhere else but if I knew it would go up when I first came here I would have thought differently,” said Tyler Parton, a sophomore sports and fitness major. “The email that was sent out said scholarships about new students but not returning students which does not benefit us in any way. I am lucky to have positions on campus to pay for this school but not everyone is as lucky.”