Tuition set to increase 4.5 percent next year

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Tuition at Newman University will go up by 4.5 percent next year, the university recently announced.

And although the increase, approved by the Newman University Board of Trustees, may seem steep, it’s going up less than it has in previous years, administrators say.

Last year, it went up around 6 percent, and in 2015 it went up about 4.75 percent. 

“I have been here four and a half years and this is the lowest increase that we’ve had,” said Jennifer Gantz, the Vice President for Finance and Administration. 

Compared to public universities, Newman’s overall tuition is cheaper, Gantz said.

“When incoming students look at the overall tuition cost, they’re initially scared away by such a huge number – as high as $29,000 for a year”, she said, “but the amount of scholarships Newman offers makes it affordable.”

“Everyone assumes, ‘Oh Newman, ‘Well I can’t afford that. That’s crazy,’” she said. “Students from Newman actually graduate with less debt than they do from WSU.  What students see is not actually what they pay. We get students out on time. When you go to some of the public schools, it takes you more than four years.  Here at Newman, I think that’s one of the things that, depending on your major or if you came here as a freshman, things like that, the likelihood of you graduating in four years is fairly high.”

“An increase every year should be expected,” Gantz said. 

But some students say they are frustrated with the continued increases.

Sophomore Kristin Fimple said she’s having trouble keeping up.

“My tuition will be a little over a $1,000 increase for the year,” she said. “If our tuition keeps going up, why don’t our scholarships?” 

Gantz said that the scholarships offered to students as freshmen or new students won’t change but a student’s need-based aide can always increase. 

“The newest increase will help the university bring in an extra $1.4 million,” Gantz said.  “More than half of that money will go directly to student scholarships and assistance for needier students,” she said. “And 2.5 percent will go to increase faculty and staff salaries.” 

“The assumption is that, ‘Oh everyone is making a bajillion dollars,’” she said. “Which is sadly not the case. We do a comparative of faculty and staff salaries across the board; we’re lower than we should be.  The board wanted to make sure we had some increase to ensure that we are able to attract faculty and staff and two that we can retain them.”

The rest of the tuition money goes to cover insurance, utilities and operational costs, she said.

This story first appeared in the December 7, 2017 issue of The Vantage.

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