Loyola officials announced tuition will still be raised for the fall semester despite plans for a hybrid of in-person and online courses.
A 3.1 percent tuition increase was originally announced in January, and will be upheld for the 2020-2021 school year, according to a June 26 email from Senior Vice President of Administrative Services Thomas Kelly. Students will pay $45,500 for the 2020-2021 academic year — $1,370 more than the 2019-2020 academic year.
“Regardless of the mode of instruction, Loyola is committed to providing a first-class education and will continue to provide students with access to the same accomplished faculty, rigorous coursework, and thoughtful curriculum that are the hallmark of the Loyola experience,” according to the email.
A Loyola survey on course effectiveness showed that students felt online instruction was equally effective as prior in-person semesters, so tuition doesn’t need to be reduced, the email said. Based on Loyola’s reported 2019 enrollment about 24 percent — or more than 4,300 — of Loyola’s graduate and undergraduate students completed the survey when it was sent out early April.
A student petition started in April called for Loyola to lower spring tuition to account for the loss of on-campus resources and the financial strain on students from COVID-19, The Phoenix reported. At the time, Anna Rozenich — a spokesperson for Loyola — told The Phoenix that the semester was already halfway over when campus closed, so tuition didn’t need to be reduced, but Loyola prorated housing, meal plans and student activity fees for the spring semester.
In May, an undergraduate student’s mother, Andreea Gociman, filed a class action complaint asking the federal courts to require Loyola to give partial refunds for the spring semester after the transition online, The Phoenix reported.
Room and board rates have been lowered to reflect the new on-campus schedule, which will have students move off-campus after Thanksgiving break.
Traditional single room rates will also be reduced to reflect Loyola’s single occupancy plan for the dorm rooms, according to the email. The school’s administration is working to get hotel rooms near campus to accommodate as many students as possible and will absorb the extra costs for hotel rooms.
The single rooms on-campus and in hotels will cost from $3,820 to $3,920 for the fall and from $4,700 to $4,830 for the spring, according to the email. During the 2019-2020 academic year single rooms ranged from $5,320 to $6,735 per semester.
The university is negotiating with the Hampton Inn (1209 W. Albion Ave.) near Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus but doesn’t have finalized financial information yet, according to Rozenich.
While the meal plan was also lowered to reflect a shortened on-campus experience, Loyola has shifted to 5- and 7-day “board plans” instead of the traditional “all access” plans, according to the email. The board plans will allow students three grab and go meals per day, in an effort to increase social distancing. Students will have hot or cold meal options, and can carry out snacks during each visit, the email said.
During the 2019-2020 academic year, a 7-day All Access Plan cost $2,660 per semester, while the new 7-day board plan will cost $2,260 in the fall and $2,570 in the spring. Loyola calculated the new price based on the cost of food, wages, cleaning and sanitation as well as to-go containers, according to Rozenich.
Students living in hotels near Water Tower Campus won’t be required to have a meal plan, but students near LSC will, according to Rozenich.
Kelly didn’t respond to request for comment. President Jo Ann Rooney didn’t respond to request for comment.