Allegheny College increases tuition by three percent for the upcoming year

While students continue to struggle to pay for higher education, schools across the United States are raising tuitions again as the 2019-20 school year approaches. Allegheny College is among those schools scheduled to increase tuition by  3 percent for the upcoming academic year.

Allegheny College is set to increase its tuition by $1,220, raising the tuition to $48,760 for the upcoming academic year. This tuition increase raises the entire total for attending Allegheny College to $61,900 which is an increase of $2,220 from the previous academic year.

Even though this increase of 3.6 percent might present worries to current Allegheny students, it is not the highest increase in the last five academic years. The 2015-16 academic year saw an increase in total charges of 4.37 percent, which was followed by another 4.15 percent increase in the 2016-17 academic year.  

The decision to raise tuition by 3.6 percent was made in the fall of 2018 and was agreed upon by the Finance and Facilities Committee. The FFC is a committee of faculty, staff, administration and students that meet to discuss the college’s budget and finances.

To make the decision, the Consumer Price Index and the Higher Education Price Index were used in tandem with other resources to analyze what an appropriate tuition increase would be, according to Eileen Petula, Allegheny’s executive vice president.

Petula said the students involved with FFC were responsible for helping to create the financial model that was used to make the decision to raise the cost of attending the college.

With the increase set, Petula said the increase decision was approved with student financial concerns in mind and the increase was set at a price that still makes Allegheny affordable for a broad range of students.

Petula also said she does not foresee any sudden decrease in the number of students that will enroll in the upcoming school year due to the tuition increase.

Some students, however, think the increase in tuition might have adverse effects on the amount of students who apply to Allegheny.

“The school wants more students to come here,” Hannah Minick, ’19, said. “But I guess with the tuition increasing, it will counter affect Allegheny’s goal to enroll more future students.”

Students and Petula agree that the college provides great value for its cost, especially after understanding that Allegheny offers scholarships and other forms of aid to incoming students.

David Ahlers, ’22, has attributed the generous financial aid package he received to be the main factor in his decision to attend Allegheny College.

“I got a pretty generous financial aid package,” Ahlers said. “Yes, it was the deciding factor (on attending Allegheny College).”

Students currently attending the school agreed with Petula about how the student aid packages are a large reason for students deciding to attend Allegheny over a different school. The amount of financial aid that the school gives students has been a deciding factor for those who chose to attend the college.

“One of the major reasons for students to enroll at this college is because of the school’s financial aid,” Minick said.

According to Petula, Allegheny offers competitive pricing for the quality education that is offered. Petula believes that other schools that are listed in the same price range as Allegheny may not offer the same opportunities and quality of education that Allegheny offers.

Even though Petula does not foresee problems with the tuition increase,Minick believes that the increase will cause problems for students attending Allegheny College.

“I feel bad, my dad is paying for my college and I have two siblings in college with me,” Minick said. “I feel more pressure to do well in order to not waste what my family is paying for. If I wasn’t an upcoming senior, I may have considered transferring.”

Minick is among many students who attend Allegheny who have taken out loans to help pay for schooling. An increase in tuition means an increase in loans, which causes problems for students like Minick.

“Some of it my dad is paying but the rest I will be paying after college,” Minick said. “With the loan increase, I’m more likely to go straight to finding a job instead of going to graduate school.”

The increase in price has also left Ahlers trying to understand why he is paying so much to come to Allegheny College.

“I do take out loans and the tuition spike makes it more difficult to rationalize paying so much, especially since I don’t know exactly where it’s going to go to help with my education,” Ahlers said.