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New tuition increase announced

Tuition will increase yet again at Loyola, according to an email sent to students by President Rev. Michael J. Garanzini, S.J. Mirroring last year’s increase, the university’s Board of Trustees approved another 2.5 percent tuition hike.

The email also released that there will be a 2.5 percent average increase in room rates, and full-time student activity fees will increase 3.5 percent. This means an overall increase of 2.8 percent in costs.

Students entering the College of Arts and Sciences in fall of 2015 will be paying $39,130 per year –– $1860 more than the $37,270 incoming students paid last fall.

Loyola’s tuition has increased following the national rate of inflation since 2002, according to Robert Munson, Loyola’s chief financial officer.

“We put a lot of time, energy and effort into building and maintaining the budget,” said Munson. “We are really trying to be good stewards of the money we control.”

This year’s announcement follows a 2.5 increase from the 2013-2014 school year, and a 2.7 increase from 2012-2013.

At Marquette University, a Jesuit university in Milwaukee, students enrolling for the 2015-2016 school year will pay $36,720 for tuition. Other Jesuit schools in the Midwest, such as Creighton and Saint Louis universities, have not released their tuition rates for the next year.

Even with the increase, Loyola ranks as only the 15th most expensive Jesuit university out of the 28 in the United States, according to Munson.

“We work to keep your tuition at a level that provides the highest quality education in the most state-of-the-art facilities as possible,” Garanzini said in the email. “We continually strive to enhance our student services, as we did recently by restructuring and adding resources within the Career Development Center, introducing a new course evaluation system, and opening the Damen Student Center addition, which houses the new Halas Recreation Center.”

Besides improved facilities, Loyola used the rise in tuition to hire 70 full-time faculty members, bringing the number of core courses taught by full-time faculty to 75 percent, the email said. This makes personnel costs, which includes the salaries and benefits the university pays its staff, the largest expense in the school’s total budget, Munson said.

Following personnel costs, financial aid is the second largest expense Loyola has. In the past year, Loyola provided $143 million in financial aid to its students –– $9 million more than what the school gave out last year, according to the email sent to students.

Freshman Robert Baurley said he doesn’t mind the increased tuition if the university uses it in ways that benefit the students, such as funding more scholarships for incoming freshmen.

“Coming from a public high school, I really value the resources we have, and I understand how college tuition works in America,” said Baurley, a 19-year-old history major. “I’m not the type of person to automatically assume the worst if the university is increasing tuition. I have full faith that they’re doing it for the right reasons.”

Student Government of Loyola Chicago (SGLC) President Flavio Bravo, who said he has seen tuition rise every year he’s been at Loyola, said the email was not a shock, but it was disappointing.

“While we know Loyola is growing, we wish we could be more involved in its growth,” said Bravo, a junior political science major.

Bravo said he would like to see more student input involved in the decision-making process. One way he said students can voice their opinions is by tweeting at @SGLoyolaChicago using the hashtag #MyVoiceMyLUC. Suggestions and questions tweeted at SGLC will be shared with Garanzini and Provost John Pelissero during their next meeting.

SGLC is also drafting a letter with the Social Justice Coalition, a student group that was involved with the drafting of Loyola’s new five-year plan for administrators regarding the accreditation process Loyola will be going through this month.

“I just hope students get involved, whether it is signing the letter or replying with the hashtag,” he said.

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Grace Runkel is the former editor-in-chief of The PHOENIX. She’s from Floyds Knobs, Indiana, a small town just north of Louisville, Kentucky. There she’s interned with multiple news outlets, as well as at WGN in Chicago. One of her favorite journalism memories is getting to interview Lee Crooks — the voice of the CTA.

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