State tuition hike may be good news

by The Simpsonian

Small classes, one-on-one attention and being more than just a number may soon not be the only draws of attending a private college, and this is great news for Simpson College.

With another increase in state school tuition, the cost difference between attending state and private schools is becoming blurred. However, this blurring of costs has less to do with the increase in tuition than it does with the quality of financial aid packages available.

Simpson’s tuition has typically seen an increase of 5 percent every year, which is roughly the monetary equivalent of the 20.3 percent average increase in state school tuition. However, Simpson offers very competitive financial aid packages through “discounting” tuition costs and other forms of aid, while the state schools do not engage in this practice of “discounting” tuition.

In the end, the average Simpson student ends up paying about the same as a state school student. This lends a huge advantage to Simpson, as the special attention to students that many students and parents appreciate will become more and more attractive as it becomes clear that attending a private school will be the same price, if not cheaper, than attending public schools.

With this potential for increased enrollment, however, Simpson faces a difficult situation. In a year that saw record numbers in freshmen enrollment and, consequently, some “expanded occupancy” problems, the need for increased housing options becomes that much more pressing an issue. If Simpson is going to be able to make a serious push for students who are turned off by another large increase in state school tuition, it is going to have to put a rush on addressing overcrowding issues.