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Monday, January 25, 2010

Holy Crap! Wash. U. Annual Tuition Rises to $39,400

Posted By on Mon, Jan 25, 2010 at 9:15 AM

Would you pay $50 grand a year to go here? - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • Would you pay $50 grand a year to go here?
If you want to go to Washington University next year, you should aspire to be one of the following: 1) A stellar athlete, 2) Someone with phenomenal credit, 3) Super-rich or 4) Really good at proving to the people who give government grants that you need one. Mere mortals cannot possibly be expected to shell out annual tuition, which now stands at $39,400. This is $1,600 more than students are currently paying.

Mind you, that doesn't include housing, meal plan or health and activities fees, all of which will also be increasing. All told, a year at Wash. U. will now cost upwards of $50,000.

Students and parents were notified of the tuition increase last Wednesday, January 20, via a letter from university provost Edward S. Macias. Due to the great recession, Macias said, the university's endowment is still down 15 percent from where it was two years ago and this year's projected shortfall is $30 million, according to the campus newspaper Student Life. Tuition provides nearly two-thirds of the university's operating budget.

(However, tuition has increased nearly $10,000 since 2005, well before the recession started, and this year's increase is actually a lower percentage than it was in previous years.)

  • Katie Sadow/Student Life

Financial suffering is general throughout the university community. Administrative salaries have been frozen and Chancellor Mark Wrighton has voluntarily taken a 10 percent decrease in pay.

Paradoxically, the administration has vowed to increase financial aid. In his letter, Macias wrote that 60 percent of the undergraduate population receives some form of aid. That number is sure to rise.

"The increase in tuition will cause an increase in financial aid," director of student finacial services Bill Witbrodt told Student Life.  "The formula that determines how much financial aid is forwarded is based on cost. The University has planned to increase financial aid for the coming year, and I know that the University has launched a capital campaign to raise scholarship funds."

That's good, 'cause people will definitely be needing them.

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