Tuition to jump 4.25% next year

by Sheyenne Manning/Staff Writer

Students may have to dig a little deeper into their pockets next year to pay for tuition. The cost of attending Simpson College is expected to rise 4.25 percent for the 2010-11 school year.

The comprehensive price will be approximately $33,828. President John Byrd said the increase is one of the lowest in recent years.  

“One of the reasons that last year was the second lowest in the last 30 years and this is the fourth lowest in the last 30 years, is that we deliver on what people expect,” Byrd said. 

The comprehensive cost breaks down to about $26,444 for tuition, $3,751 for a standard meal plan and $3,633 for standard room and board. 

Byrd sent an e-mail to students Feb. 5, outlining some plans for the college for the next school year. One such plan is to improve the safety in residence halls by installing a sprinkler system and new windows in Buxton Hall.  

Other improvements can be immediately noticed, such as the recent bandwidth increase, another of which is expected before the new school year.  

Some students have expressed frustration with the increase. 

“Students would probably be more accepting of it if they saw the change,” junior Miles Swenson said. 

The expected improvements have to be supported in some way like through tuition, Swenson said. 

 “It kind of sucks, but it’s not going to make me leave this school since I’m a junior,” Swenson said.  

But Swenson thinks his perspective might be different than those of underclassmen.  

“It might make it an easier decision to go to a school that doesn’t cost as much,” said Swenson. 

Byrd said he’s always working on making additional scholarships available to students and spends much of his time talking to potential donors about the benefits of their gifts.  

Byrd said he and the college always think about the impact any level of tuition adjustment may have on the enrollment of students. 

Sophomore Nick Smith said that the level of tuition will have an immediate impact on how he pays for his education. 

“I’m probably going to have to look for more scholarships and take out another loan,” Smith said.  

But Smith says he’ll stay at Simpson because of the friendly atmosphere. 

“I prefer the personal experience regardless of how much it’s going to cost me,” he said. 

Byrd says one of the long-term benefits of the increase is the new curriculum, which will begin to be incorporated next year.  

“We’ve added new faculty over the last three years in anticipation of the new curriculum in an attempt to bring down the student-faculty ratio,” Byrd said. “We also wanted to be able to develop a curriculum where our faculty had more time to spend with students outside of the traditional classroom.”  

Although Byrd said it’s difficult figuring out what to increase and where money can be saved, the college is always looking for a place to save money.