Tuition set to increase for the year 2009-2010

The total cost of tuition, room and board for Eastern’s College of Arts and Sciences is set to increase 4.3 percent – from $31,280 to $32,640 – for the 2009-2010 school year.

Statistics from the Bureau of Labor show a 6.7 percent average tuition inflation between 1996 and 2006.

“It’s a hard time for the university right now,” Chancellor Chris Hall said. “We cannot operate in the red.”

Hall said he was hoping the university would not have to increase tuition for next year. Vice President of Student Development Bettie Ann Brigham added that, in these difficult financial times, the university is trying its hardest to make the cost of attendance a possibility for everyone.

Both Hall and Brigham noted the immediate discount, by way of scholarships and other financial aid, that lowers what students actually pay to attend Eastern.

“The net costs after financial aid represent modest increases and are quite competitive,” said Wes Bryan, vice president of finance and operations, in an e-mail interview.

With the economy in a recession, there is speculation that more students will be unable to cover the costs of tuition.

However, some experts believe that college enrollment will increase as more people are unable to find jobs. Regardless, the cost of college tuition continues to increase. On average, tuition costs in the United States doubles every 10 years.

Hall remarked that, although keeping tuition the same would be nice, a wise decision needs to be made that keeps the university’s long-term interests in mind.

“I’m not fearful,” Hall said. “We need to be compassionate and trusting at the same time.”

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