Editorial: Tuition numbers necessary

With the Early Filer Award FAFSA deadline looming, many students are left concerned about tuition costs for the 2015-16 school year. As Augustana College’s website recommends, Illinois residents who may be eligible for need-based financial assistance should submit the 2015-2016 FAFSA immediately to meet deadlines associated with the Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grant.
Yet, with costs not yet announced, it makes it difficult for families to guess what increase might occur. Many students need immediate access to tuition information to budget, meet transfer deadlines, find ways to cover costs, etc.
The Augustana College Board of Trustees met in December to discuss the 2015-16 tuition costs, and now room and board is being considered. The Observer does not know when these numbers will be released, but we are hoping for swift action to occur.
Many are anticipating another increase, following the trend of other four-year liberal arts institutions. Institutions like Knox College have already announced their 2015-16 tuition, set at $50,859.
According to data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, the 2011–12 academic year, annual current dollar prices for undergraduate tuition, room, and board were estimated to be $14,300 at public institutions, $37,800 at private nonprofit institutions, and $23,300 at private for-profit institutions. Compare that to Augustana’s tuition now, and an increase is most likely an accurate forecast.
Even without room and board costs, we feel the college should release tuition as soon as possible, to prepare students and their families for the rise in cost.