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Staff Editorial: Increased tuition may be business as usual, but we still have doubts

Recently, the Mills administration announced that next year’s tuition would be increased by 4.5 percent — a lesser increase than the College’s average in the past ten years, but still a significant amount: 4.5 percent will mean an increase of about $1,700 per year.

The price tag on our prestigious women’s college private liberal arts education certainly wasn’t cheap in the first place. However, what many members of the Campanil staff find most troubling is the tuition increase coupled with the decrease in aid being offered to incoming students.

Although the view from the Mills ivory tower looks pricey on paper, a majority of students who might otherwise settle for cheaper or public education attend as a result of receiving substantial financial aid.

Will the tuition increase combined with less financial aid turn away students from underrepresented cultural and economic backgrounds? This seems like a very present and ominous possibility.

Compared to many other colleges — like the outrageous hikes at Berkeley and Berkeley City College — 4.5% may seem measly.

However puny it may seem in context, our staff still finds it important to question why exactly this money is being charged and are determined to know if it will truly be used to improve the educational experience here at Mills.

The reason usually given is that these increases happen as a result of attempting to balance the budget annually. Reasons for this year’s increase — as in, examples of tangible changes that will happen from the increased revenue — have yet to be given by administrative officials.

Despite acknowledging tuition increases are the status quo here at Mills, the Campanil staff remains wary of this new 4.5% and urges the college to ensure that the increase won’t make the college less accessible or affordable to students who may not have that extra $1,700.

Read the official article on the increased tuition at the College.