Some students say since next year’s cost numbers have been released four months early, the stress caused by the increase is not as great. Next year’s total cost is $46,200, a 2.58 percent increase.
“It will make it not seem so rushed to find the necessary fundings that people need to continue to go here,” Mollie Emerson said.
The intent is to continue releasing numbers around this time in future years.
Presiden Darrel Colson said the Board of Regents asked administrators to bring proposals dealing with total cost to them earlier.
Mackenzie Walsh and Hannah Higlenkamp agreed that having this information four months early, while stressful, gives them and their parents more time to find ways to pay for the increase.
Jakob Hamilton said the extra time will help him know how many extra shifts to work at his on-campus job to help cover the cost difference.
Before Fall Break, students received an email containing tuition and total cost numbers for next academic year.
The difference between this year’s total cost and next year’s total cost is roughly $1,200, which is the lowest dollar increase in 13 years.
Higlenkamp said she wasn’t surprised that costs went up again.
“My first thought was ‘oh boy, here we go again.’ While it is thankfully a small increase, it can still mean a great deal of work for a student,” Walsh said.
Emerson said the smaller increase makes paying the difference a little more managable.
“It doesn’t hurt the checkbook quite so bad,” Emerson said.
Colson said he hopes the smaller increase and being aware of the increase sooner will help students be able to stay at Wartburg.
“I always worry about every single student who wants to be at Wartburg, who is enjoying the experience here, who is learning, who is developing the skills she needs for the future, feels constrained by finances
and even pressured by finances not to stay here but to do something different,” Colson said.
Hamilton said the increase does not sound like a lot, but that doesn’t make the situation any less scary.
“When you realize that tuition raises a thousand dollars while students’ scholarships don’t increase along with it, it is very frightening,” Hamilton said.
Colson said that when figuring out a student’s financial aid package at the beginning of their Wartburg career, factors such as cost increases are taken into account.
As a first year, Hamilton is worried about what will happen if prices continue to increase significantly during the rest of his college career.
Emerson said that while cost increases are stressful, the benefits will be visible in the end.
“In the upcoming years when you’re paying off that loan, you’re not going to say, ‘man, I wish I had never paid this and gotten a college degree,'” Emerson said.
“You’re going to be super thankful that you went to a school like Wartburg and got the most fantastic education you possible could and gotten all the experiences that went along with it.”
While students hope to see the total costs decrease, or remain the same, Colson does not see that happening.
“I bet I can honestly say there won’t ever be a decrease because I know that we invest so much in people, and those people both deserve and need increased benefits and increased salaries,” Colson said.
However, he said, “We are so eager to make college as affordable as we can for the students who want to be here.”
Financial aid application information will be sent to students in January.
In April, students who have completed all financial aid application material will be able to see their financial aid package via My.Wartburg.