This past week, many students were sent scrambling for financial aid options after Mills College sent a letter notifying them that tuition will increase by 5 percent.
For the 2008-2009 school year, tuition will cost $34,170. This year’s tuition costs $32,542.
“It’s ridiculous. Tuition prices are like gas prices – they keep going up,” said senior Rachael Camacho.
Some students wonder how they will pay for their education.”I’m hoping they create more scholarships to pay for tuition,” said freshwoman Amandla Roque Atilano.
“I haven’t told my parents yet,” said freshwoman Sahar Momand. “I think Mills is expensive already- increasing it is just putting more stress on all of us to find ways to pay.”
According to David Gin, director of Student Administrative Services, a large portion of the tuition increase, as much as two to three percent, will be allocated to financial aid funds.
Not everyone will benefit from this financial aid increase. According to Gin, funding depends on the student and the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the FAFSA.
EFC is the amount of money a student’s parents are expected to pay toward their child’s education. The student’s EFC is subtracted from the college’s Cost of Attendance. The result is the student’s financial need, according to www.finaid.com.
While need-based scholarships will increase according to a student’s EFC, merit-based scholarships will remain the same.
“Merit awards are frozen,” said Gin, “but need-based financial aid is based on your EFC from last year and depends on each student.”
Gin added that this is the lowest tuition hike in the past three years. Next year, the tuition will cost $1,628 more.
This is less than the 2007-2008 school year, which increased by $2,242, and the 2006-2007 school year, which increased by $2,550.
Ladene Diamond, the newly-appointed vice president for finance and administration, confirms that the highest raise was in 2005 at a 9.9 percent tuition increase.
“The cost of providing an exceptional academic experience is balanced with the cost [of tuition],” wrote Diamond in an e-mail to The Campanil.
President Janet Holmgren, as well as the board of trustees, were unavailable to comment on why the College raised tuition.
“At this point, it’s kind of sad that we’re sort of used to tuition increases,” said sophomore Chloe Diamond. “We get these letters every single year.”
Mills High School Coordinator/Academic Advisor for Mills College Educational Talent Search Dan Fisher finds the tuition increases just as disagreeable as students do.
“As an alum and now somebody that advises high school students on how to attend college, I feel these tuition hikes are keeping education exclusively for those who can afford it,” he said.
To learn more about tuition and financial aid, contact the M Center.