Tuition to increase by $1,700 for 2017-2018 school year

| Senior News Editor

For the third consecutive year, tuition will increase by 3.5 percent, rising by $1,700 to make the grand total $50,650 for the 2017-2018 academic year, up from $49,950 this year.

The tuition raise, announced via a letter sent by Provost Holden Thorp to students and parents Thursday morning, matches the smallest rise in around 50 years and continues the recent trend of decreasing percent increases in tuition.

Thorp said that the increased cost of tuition will allow Washington University to do more for students, citing recent increases in sexual assault programming, the creation of the Sociology; Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and African and African-American Studies Departments; the Office of Student Success; and Deneb STARS Program.

“We have more things that we want to do and more things we want to do to help students, and we have a dedicated faculty and administration, and we have a lot of salary costs in the organization. And those folks have costs—their prospects are improving, and this is a good place to work, so they’re going to get a salary increase,” he said. “If you look at our surveys, we do very well on access to faculty and the responsiveness to the administration, so rewarding the people that create this environment makes sense.”

Despite the increases in tuition price, Washington University has also increased the average size of financial aid packages over the past decade, with aid packages going up from about $20,000 on average to about $39,000. Thorp noted that the University hopes to ensure these tuition raises do not impact students who receive aid.

“The way the aid program works, the out of pocket cost for the students who are getting aid are not going to increase, and debt levels are staying about where they are, so we’ve got a progressive financial aid program that’s getting stronger every day,” Thorp said. “That is making it so that the tuition increase is—while I’m sure the people who are paying it are not happy to pay it—our data suggests that they’re satisfied with their Wash. U. education, and we’re all making sure that the students who are getting aid aren’t being impacted by it.”

Still, some students have expressed displeasure about the increased tuition.

“The tuition increase? It sucks a–,” sophomore Ally Cooper said. “It’s literally the worst; it actually sucks a–.”

“I see it as an unfortunate reality that from year to year prices increase, and I understand why the University has to do it, but it sucks to have to pay more money when we’re already paying a bunch of money to the school,” sophomore Sara Schatz added.

The student activity fee—which makes up 1 percent of the total tuition—will be $508, up from $490 for 2016-2017, and the health and wellness fee will be $375, up from $330 for the current academic year.

Modern doubles will range between $10,532-$10,982 for next year, whereas this year’s range was between $9,950-$10,670. Meal plans will also cost $4,206-$5,844 for 2017-2018, compared to the current price range of $4,124-$5,729.

Additional reporting by Noa Yadidi.

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