The overall cost of tuition, room and board at Goshen will increase by 4.7 percent next year. Administrators argue that this increase is a matter-of-fact trend that is a yearly inevitability, but some students object to the continual inflation rate of their education.
This year, the total for tuition plus room and board on campus racked up to $32,800; next year, this figure will jump to $34,350. This rise of 4.7 percent is a relatively normal pace of inflation in terms of how much tuition has increased at Goshen in recent years, and also how much it increases at similar schools. Also, because of college or federal scholarships and awards, the average student at Goshen only actually pays for 60 percent of his or her tuition.
Tuition prices at Goshen are calculated very meticulously. According to Jim Histand, vice president for finance, administrators first predict costs to the institution, enrollment numbers and income from donors in the next year.
“We then put all the pieces together to determine the overall institutional budget,” Histand said. “Tuition is one of the institutional resources, but only one.”
Students end up paying for less than 60 percent of the college's expenses when donor money and financial aid is taken into account.
Still, some students critique how quickly the cost of education at Goshen is rising. David Harnish, a junior, pointed out that inflation right now is only around 2 percent, so tuition expenses are increasing at least twice as quickly as the general cost of living is.
“It doesn't make sense,” said Harnish, “because we're making all of these cut-backs at Goshen. If all we see are cut-backs, and tuition is still rising, it seems like we're being left out of the loop with something.”
Harnish wishes that the institution would be more open with students about their budget and why they make the financial decisions they do.
The college continues to provide new services and technology to students, however, which is partly why they must also continually bolster the cost of tuition.
“What many students and others often forget,” said Histand, “is that the higher costs of education from year to year are also impacted dramatically by the ever-increasing level of services, facilities and amenities that are demanded by students and families and offered by colleges and universities.”
This summer, for example, Goshen College plans to install an electronic door access security system in residence halls that will improve security on campus, but cost a lot of money.
Harnish worries that if costs at Goshen continue to rise, it will lose a demographic of students who won't be able to afford such an expensive liberal arts education.
But Lynn Jackson, vice president for enrollment management, assures the college community that students won't be left in the lurch.
“Many of the alumni and friends of the college have contributed dollars in order to help students to have the option of a college education,” said Jackson.