assistant news editor
If any of y’all weren’t aware, Millsaps is raising its tuition and housing fees for this upcoming school year. With the economy in the state that it’s in, many students feel uneasy about the decision to increase schooling costs. I spoke with John Sewell, Director of Communications & Marketing, to shed some light on the issue in the hopes of understanding why this decision was made. This is what Sewell had to say on the matter:
Why was the decision made to raise the tuition and housing price for next semester?
The increase will allow us to fund salaries and benefits for the faculty and staff who educate and support you across campus, as well as address the rising costs of insurance, utilities, and food services.
Do you think that will effect the amount of prospective students that will decide to come to Millsaps?
Our tuition historically has ranked among the lowest of the 16 selective, private liberal arts colleges that comprise the Associated Colleges of the South, and we are competitive with other peer colleges throughout the nation. We will maintain our commitment to providing the Millsaps experience through substantial merit and need-based financial aid to over 90 percent of our students.
A recent study by Money Magazine also ranked Millsaps as the best school in the country for merit-based financial aid (out of the 665 schools in their “Best Colleges” ranking).
How are students being compensated for the raised pricing? Will we see our money being used in something practical like renovations of older dorm buildings?
As I said, this year’s increase is necessary to support costs related to salaries, insurance for the College, utilities and food services. Additional efforts are underway to secure funding outside of tuition and fees in support of projects related to our campus master plan.
Do you think that within the next five years the price will be raised more?
The short answer is, probably yes, just as at nearly every college/university and business in the country. Beyond the value of recruiting and maintaining faculty, there are certain costs to the College that we know will most likely increase, such as insurance, utilities, and maintenance. There is a commitment to reigning in any future increases to ensure minimal impact on students, faculty, and the College as a whole. Again, as already mentioned, Millsaps ranks among the lowest tuitions of our peer schools in the ACS.
So overall this will be a benefit to students and the school?
I believe so.
Despite the economic anxiety that many students face, this decision according to Sewell and the school board is only meant to help Millsaps become the college that it’s meant to become in the five year plan. Although raising the bill on tuition and housing isn’t ideal, I can see how this increase is meant to play a role in Millsaps’s development. It’s all a part of the plan to move Millsaps forward and continue giving students the best resources and education that the South has to offer.