By Sarah Tinoco
February 11, 2014
With the spring semester in full swing, students are cracking down on homework and exams in anticipation for spring break during the first week of March. But for the administration at Dominican, spring semester is the time to prepare for the upcoming academic year, including projecting future tuition and fees.
According to Amy McCormack, senior vice president for finance and administration, tuition and fees will increase by 3.3 percent for the 2014-2015 academic year. Ultimately, this will result in an additional $960 from this year’s tuition, resulting in a tuition total of $29,770. The cost of room and board will also increase by 3.2 percent, so returning students will have to spend an additional $282 to live on campus next year.
“When we evaluate tuition increases, we look at a number of factors including anticipated increases in expenses such as salary and benefits, how we compare to other institutions, anticipated changes in federal and/or state aid programs and any new investments that are desired by students, required for academic programs or required by federal and state mandates,” McCormack said.
McCormick added that administrators at Dominican do their best to keep student costs as low as possible.
“Dominican has tried to be very sensitive to the rising cost of high education and the needs of our students,” McCormick said. “As we look at our peer institutions, we have increased our tuition at a lower rate than most and have continue to commit significant dollars to student financial aid.”
Student Government Association President Berto Aguayo believes the administration is doing a good job sharing the reasons of the increases but thinks more can be done to clarify the exact breakdown of the new charges.
“One of my suggestions is breaking down our tuition bill,” Aguayo said. “That way, we can know where our money is going to. Students deserve to know what they are paying for and why it’s increasing.”
While Aguayo is a student leader who remains up-to-date on pending university changes, he also remains sensitive to the fact that tuition changes may result in additional issues for students from varying economic backgrounds.
“Being the son of a single mother, I definitely understand the hardships that a 3.3 percent increase can incur on a student and I hope that administration keeps this is mind when making their estimates,” Aguayo added.
Freshman Nicole McDermott says it is a hardship to spend so much of her own money on college tuition. In order to meet all costs, McDermott pays for college with scholarships, government aid, parental assistance and any money she brings in from her job.
“An increase in tuition is something I definitely do not want to see,” she said. “My twin sister is also in college, so my parents are paying a lot of money already, as well as myself.”