In a normally fun and relaxed environment, tension emerges in the Jammin’ Java when tuition is mentioned.
Sophomore Candice Overton already knows the pressures of payment. “My mom’s yearly salary doesn’t keep rising but tuition does,” she said.
Senior Robynn Delaware understands the impending burden these past four years of school have created. “I will be close to $50,000 in debt when I graduate,” she said.
When asked if it has been worth it, they are silent.
“It’s a good school, but is it worth all the money?” Overton said. “I don’t know.”
Junior Denise Gadson remarked, “College is expensive no matter where you go and I have finally come to grips with the fact that I will probably be paying for college for the rest of my life.”
According to an email from Sarah Getz, executive assistant to Vice President of Finance and Operations Wes Bryan, two-thirds of tuition is spent on instruction, which includes faculty compensation and other educational expenses. The other third is distributed among student services, academic support, and institutional support. This includes CCAS, the registrar’s office and the information technology department. So, for the cost of $21,610 (including general fees) tuition pays for services that are both beneficial and necessary.
In looking at tuition costs as a whole, the student body may be unaware of the fact that our tuition only covers 84 percent of what our education actually costs. According to Director of Alumni Relations Mary Gardner, who organized Tuition-free Day last year, students would be paying on average $3,205 more than current tuition if it were not for donors and fundraising efforts from Student Development and the Office of Alumni Relations.
Gardner said in an email that her calculations from last year’s tuition-free day show that $3.5 million is raised through fundraising and $1.2 million is raised through endowment. This and tuition fees pay for many required services that Getz mentioned as well as other benefits that students reap. “New equipment for the science department and the educational program are just small examples of money raised that enhance our students’ learning experience,” Gardner said.
Does Overton ultimately believe she has made the right academic decision? “What makes me comfortable is that God told me to be here, so in that sense it is worth it,” she said.
In acknowledging her own future debt, Delaware concurred with Overton. She admitted that she has considered other schools, but said, “This is where I wanted to be-I was called to be here.”