Columbia’s Tuition to rise for 2011-2012

By Shardae Smith

Students attending Columbia for the 2011–2012 academic year will pay almost $1,000 more in tuition, according to the 2012 Tuition Letter from President Warrick L. Carter’s office, which was released on Feb. 1.

The college’s board of trustees has approved a 4.98 percent increase for undergraduate tuition. A 7.5 percent increase will also be added to graduate tuition, depending on the student’s program.

Louise Love, vice president of Academic Affairs, said the college wanted to increase the number of scholarships it offers, and that was one of the factors in determining how much to raise tuition.

Carter’s statement said the college will continue to invest in the college’s scholarship fund, which is expected to award $18 million dollars to 3,000 students for the upcoming term.

Love said it’s not unusual for an institution to raise the cost of tuition on an annual basis.

“It’s typical that there would be an increase each year,” Love said. “It’s not necessarily the case, but most institutions do because expenses go up every year.”

Senior arts, entertainment and media management major Atlanta Douse said the college should find other resources to bring in money and not always raise students’ tuition.

“We are at our wits end with books, and if you stay on campus … it’s getting a little ridiculous to me,” Douse said. “I know they have some alumni, people who have made it, [the college can] ask for some donations.”

But junior interactive arts and media major Nick Niemiec said if the money goes to help a low-income student, he has no problem with the tuition increase.

“That sounds like a good idea, if they’re giving back to students in need of money,” Niemiec said. “My parents and I worked to help put me through college, but if that is also helping someone else, then I will feel a little better about that.”

Undergraduate tuition, not including mandatory fees, is currently $19,140 annually. The 4.98 percent increase will cost students approximately $950 more for the upcoming year.

Students also saw a hike in tuition for the 2010–2011 academic year when it was raised 3.3 percent. But according to Carter’s statement, public universities in Illinois have raised tuition an average of 53 percent since the 2005–2006 academic while other private, nonprofit institutions have averaged a 26 percent rise.

Columbia has seen a 22 percent increase during the same time period, Carter’s statement said.

Loyola University raised its tuition 3.3 percent, from $31,040 for the 2010–2011 academic year, to $32,200 for the 2011–2012 session.

The School of the Art Institute Chicago’s tuition is currently $35,550 for the 2010–2011 semesters.

In addition to the mandatory and miscellaneous fees and housing, it will cost more than $50,000 to attend SAIC full time, for two consecutive semesters.

Love said she thinks the tuition increase will not affect student enrollment.

“We’re hoping students will find it affordable,” she said. “Some of it we’ll put back into scholarships that will help the students who might have a problem.”