COLUMN Frustration rises with tuition costs

By: Chad Hazen – Columnist

College is expensive. And the University of Dayton is a part of that generalization. Scholarships, government and student loans ease the initial pain of attending a respectable institution, and for that I am grateful. Unfortunately, the monetary gifts and blood contracts the university and Big Brother grant simply stave off the burden of debt. These guardians of graduation strap you in a chair six months after receiving that fancy piece of paper and take a rusty, dull prison shank to the oozing scab of monumental, credit-destroying loans.

So, astute reader, you ask what has changed in the last half decade? How does the university’s fiscal bump compare to other respectable institutions? Is it that much of a difference? Let’s dig.

Looking at the fall 2009 to fall 2013 four-year trend in tuition and fees of the nation’s 30 largest Catholic institutions, UD’s tuition increased 19.9 percent while room and board bumped an impressively disgusting 27.9 percent. St. John’s University in New York, by comparison, raised its tuition by 21.2 percent. UD isn’t a trailblazer in the “lowering tuition” game. I mean, just take a trip to Miami, Florida. Barry University took home the win for “smallest percent increase” at 6.2 percent.

The University of Dayton’s increase in price amounts to a healthy $10,480, or 21 percent in overall expense. Let’s break that down a bit. The cost of tuition and fees plus room and board came to a grand total of $38,590, according to UD Factbook 2010. Total revenues stood at a healthy $396,848,000 while total expenditures creeped to $361,705,000. With 2,060 new first year students, the campus held 7,156 full-time undergraduates. Fast forward to the fall of my senior year, and all of those numbers have jumped. Tuition and fees with a roof and food cost each of the almost 8,000 undergraduate students, 2,205 being first years, $49,070.

After the calculations, math and totally needed pie charts, I stormed over to the office of student accounts to get some answers. Director Beth Gloekler said the university is attempting to assist students with the gradual tuition increase by awarding more scholarships to fill the monetary jump. While it seems to be a simple fix, the extra scholarships keeps the stipulation of “proper academic standing” in order to be eligible to collect. When asked whether the tuition bumps are due to the increasing number of statues around campus, Gloekler was unable to provide an answer. I then asked fifth-year mechanical engineering major Zack Valigosky for his two-cents on the issue.

“It’s unfortunate that the cost of tuition has gone up,” he said, “but UD is a business at the end of the day.” I couldn’t agree more, Mr. Valigosky.

Considering the cushion of extra scholarship only applies to current juniors, sophomores and first-years, I suggest we all go online to find ways to make up the difference for all of us left in the dust – or go into the statue making-business.