Story by Chucky Blackmore, News Editor
Photo courtesy of Brian Kelly
On Friday, January 29, President Juan Olivarez personally emailed AQ students and parents, informing them of a 4 percent tuition increase for the 2016-2017 academic year. As many already know, tuition increases may seem like an annual burden as it is financially daunting for students and parents to see rates go up on top of what they already pay. However, there are many reasons and factors that go into these types of increases that have been sufficiently outlined by President Olivarez, the Aquinas Board of Trustees, and Student Senate.
In his email, President Olivarez states that in addition to a 4 percent tuition increase, students will also see a 3 percent increase in room and a 3 percent increase in board rates, approximating around $37,378. These numbers are gathered by AQ with the help of an outside higher education financial consultant. To offset these costs, however, AQ students are awarded annual scholarships and grants provided by the Annual Fund, private donations through alumni, and family scholarships, along with state and federal dollars.
It is important to note where Aquinas’ tuition costs fall in comparison to other private college in Michigan. President Olivarez stated, “At Aquinas we always strive to keep any increase in costs to a minimum, and in recent years we have managed to keep our increases below the average for private colleges.”
According to statistics provided by the Admissions Office, Aquinas College tuition costs fall in the middle when compared to 14 other private colleges: Hope, Calvin, Alma, and Albion colleges have higher tuition costs than Aquinas. Of those four, Albion College tuition costs are the highest at $50,188 annually.
Aquinas College seeks to provide students with a high quality educational opportunities at affordable prices. “We want you to be confident knowing that your financial contribution toward your education represents a solid investment,” wrote Olivarez.
In providing students with a high quality education, AQ must take into account those resources that make that possible. Technology, one of those pertinent resources, accrues fees that are among the highest here at AQ. Our college is constantly doing a great deal of comparison shopping before determining what will be best for students.
AQ also cherishes the positive work ethic and health of its employees. As we all know, healthcare costs will always be an increasing expense, so AQ wants to ensure its staff and faculty have health options that are beneficial to them.
In times when increased tuition seems unbearable and overwhelming, it is important to remember the mission by which AQ lives and thrives: Aquinas College “provides a liberal arts education with a global perspective, emphasizes career preparation focused on leadership and service to others, and fosters a commitment to lifelong learning.”
About the Writer…
Chucky Blackmore is a senior studying English and Education, with a minor in ESL. Other than being The Saint’s News Editor, Chucky is also a Resident Assistant in Hruby Hall and plays lead guitar in Grand Rapids based band, Velcrofibs.