Why do students keep paying more?

By Jordan Lewis

Rising tuition at Olivet is a result of the economic problem, as well as an attempt to meet the rising cost of running the university.  

Money, dollars, cents, bills, bucks, Benjamins, the green stuff, coin, loot, wad or mullah. No matter what you call it, everyone at Olivet is spending it on rising tuition rates.

Students often ask, “Why is tuition so high, and why does it keep going up?”

While it may sometimes seem that tuition rises without rhyme or reason, these increases are carefully planned out and occur for important reasons.

“The board of trustees sets the tuition every year based on income and expenses,” said Greg Bruner, director of Financial Aid.

When calculating the cost of tuition, the board looks at the prices other universities charge.

“We look at all the other Nazarene schools and private Christian schools in the Midwest …[our charges are] in the middle of the road,” said Merlin Wallace, director of Student Accounts. “We aren’t the most expensive, or the least expensive.”

While Olivet does consider other schools, it does not factor in scholarships, or that some schools give higher scholarships than others, according to Wallace.

While some students desire fixed tuition, meaning students pay the same amount every year, the concept isn’t possible at a school like Olivet.

“I don’t know of many schools that do fixed tuition,” Wallace said. “As in any business, cost of operation goes up from year to year.”

If costs went up and tuition did not, Olivet would be left with a large deficit, as there would not be enough revenue to cover expenses.

Wallace could only think of one way Olivet could implement fixed tuition, and he believes the process would be difficult.

“The only way I can see something like that working is if someone projected ahead an average of what tuition would need to be over four years,” he said.

Although the cost of tuition may seem high to students, the expenses are directly related to rising costs in the economy, according to Jim Knight, registrar. Olivet is simply trying to run a successful institution, Knight said.

“We don’t want to close the doors and we don’t want to lay people off,” Bruner added.

Some students agree.

“I wish ONU had a fixed tuition, but I understand the budget must change every year to maintain a successful and thriving school,” senior Danielle McNamara said.

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