Tuition increase to be the lowest in 24 years

Next year’s tuition will increase by 3.89% of the current base fee of $31,485.

According to Jane Kelsey, vice president for finance and treasurer, and Gary Brown, Ph.D., senior vice president and chief financial officer, the “3.89% increase over the current year is the lowest total cost increase in 24 years.” The increase for 2014-15 is continuing with the goal to maintain low cost increases.

Before, the cost increases were at times almost double. According to Kelsey, “the historical total cost increase averaged 6 percent.” Efforts have been made to reduce the yearly increases significantly to lessen the overall burden.

Still, an increase is unavoidable. Kelsey and Brown said, “Each year we struggle to contain costs and balance the University’s budget, while ensuring that any increase to tuition and fees for our students and their families is minimized to the extent possible.”

College tuition is a large burden on students and families across the country, preventing some students from furthering their education all together. “We are mindful of the sacrifice families make to send their sons and daughters to Mercyhurst,” Kelsey and Brown said.

The funds serve various purposes. “About half of the 3.89% increase will be distributed right back to students by growing the university’s financial aid reserves for those in the greatest need,” Kelsey and Brown said. The remaining funds contribute to insurance, utilities, salary increases, campus enhancements, and student research and study abroad opportunities.

The majority of the funds work towards reinvesting in the university. “This summer the University is embarking on a multi-year plan to improve the Briggs and Lewis apartments,” Kelsey and Brown said. There is also necessary repair work needed for the athletic center and overall infrastructure of the campus.