Wartburg will not consider a tuition freeze in the near future, Edie Waldstein, vice president for enrollment management, said.
Ultimately it is Wartburg’s Board of Regents that determines tuition at Wartburg, Waldstein said.
“I think at this point in time Wartburg is very aware of these kinds of models for tuition pricing and financial aid. We have studied them, we have not seen any clear success stories at any of the colleges that have implemented this,” Waldstein said. “It still carries along some risk and disadvantages and that is why we have opted not to do this.”
This past year at least six colleges have implemented a tuition freeze, according to FinAid.org. Among the schools considering these freezes are the public universities in Iowa.
Waldstein said in order for an institution to freeze tuition realistically the college would have to cut aid that is awarded to the students because the school still has to come out with students paying the same net price to make the business model work.
“It may look good from marketing perspective, but in the end in terms of what the students are actually paying it is unusual to actually have students paying less,” Waldstein said.
Hollis Hanson-Pollock, student body president, said the biggest expense by far at Wartburg is student aid, which is why tuition goes up every year because student aid goes up.
“For tuition to not go up, they would have to not raise or decrease scholarships which would make us less competitive to perspective students,” Hanson-Pollock said.
Wartburg has tried to keep the tuition increases as low as possible and the students always in the forefront of the college’s mind, Waldstein said.
Hanson-Pollock said she thought the only way Wartburg would consider a tuition freeze was if every other college did it because if the school cut our financial aid then prospective students would not be as interested.
She said she thinks students get upset because when they start out they thinking their first year tuition is what they will end up paying all four years and then it goes up.
“If you are a senior you are kind of paying extra for the good scholarships for the first years but then when you were a first year your scholarship was only that good because the seniors before you did the same thing,” Hanson-Pollock said.
Waldstein said the college enters every year with very thoughtful, well-researched and careful discussions regarding the complex process of tuition setting.
“I think we value getting to know students well and serving their needs well and being flexible and being able to personalize the service and education we provide students,” Waldstein said.