STORY BY JESSICA LYNK
The Board of Trustees approved an increase in tuition fees for the 2015-2016 school year. Because of this, the undergraduate tuition will increase 4.52 percent. This recent spike comes after an 4.4 percent increase this past year.
The increase left students angry after President David Maxwell announced the news via email on Jan. 27. Maxwell cited Drake’s tuition philosophy, the goal of which is to make Drake the best value for students’ money. Some students were not impressed.
“It is unrealistic to expect students to be able to afford tuition that is being raised a grand each year. The rate at which they increase it and the rate of inflation do not mirror each other and it is putting more of a burden on many of the Drake University students and their families,” said first year history major Jessica Cardarelle.
Although students were angry, members of the board did not take this decision lightly.
“Many of the Board members are current or former parents of Drake students, and pay the same tuition as everyone else, so it’s a very personal thing to have to increase tuition,” said Board of Trustee member Joe Aiello.
The board approved an undergraduate tuition increase of $1,450. The room rate will increase by $200 and the board rate will increase by $125.
Overall, including full room and board with fees, the undergraduate tuition will increase by $1,775, or 4.28 percent, bringing the cost of full tuition to $43,291.
Pharmacy students will also feel the effect with P1- P3 students’ tuition raising 3.5 percent to $37,130 and P4 students’ tuition raising 3.5 percent to $41,788.
Aiello explained that tuition must increase in order to maintain a high ranking as an educational institute and avoid program cuts.
“We must maintain the quality of a Drake education, in terms of faculty, support staff, new student opportunities, and improved facilities, all things which take money, and become more and more expensive every year,” Aiello said. “ If that were the case, programs might have to be cut, support functions removed, opportunities reduced. With the increase, we are able to continue to offer what our students expect and deserve.”
However, the increase led some students to question where their money is going.
“I’ve just been overall confused as to where all the money that Drake has goes. I work at Phonathan and we are wrapping up a 200 million dollar campaign and that, combined with the tuition from everyone else, makes me wonder where Drake is spending all this money,” said first-year instrument performance major Hudson Webber.
According to Maxwell’s email, 75 percent of tuition and fees go towards operating revenue.
The increase was a recommendation from the office of Finance and Administration. Maxwell noted in his email that Drake is “committed to providing the highest quality education and student service at the very lowest possible cost.”
However, some students feel this value is not reflected in their Drake experience.
“I feel like the tuition right now does not reflect the quality of Drake. I feel like the quality can be a lot better for the current tuition price,” said first-year pre-pharmacy major Paul Lee.
Aiello disagrees, noting what he hears from graduates.
“It’s amazing to me to see the cost of Drake now, and yet we continue to get great feedback from our graduates regarding the value of their Drake education,” Aiello said.
Overall, the tuition increase has left students like Webber frustrated.
“It is frustrating with my scholarships, because they don’t raise with the tuition,” Webber said.