Tuition for colleges and universities has greatly increasedthroughout the country within the last two years.
Dillard University and other colleges have been forced to raisethe amount of tuition in an effort to keep the universityfunctioning.
Dillard’s former president Michael Lomax sent a letter to allparents and students, which stated the new tuition and boardingrates for 2004 represent a 5.7 percent increase. The increases arejust about the projected rate of inflation and compare favorablywith the 7-10 percent increases at other institutions.
In the last year Dillard’s tuition has gone from $10,600 to$11,200. According to Janet Jackson, the Dillard University bursar,”Dillard has no control over the increase.”
By virtue that Dillard is a private historically black college, itstuition immediately surpasses that of state colleges because itdoes not receive funding from the state, which usually helpsuniversities tremendously.
Jackson added, “The federal government only allots a certainamount of money to each instition, once that money is gone, pellfunding and loans remain the same.”
While tuition is constantly on the rise, enrollment for the firsttime has decreased by 120 students in the freshman class.
As a result of tuition being raised, some students haveconsidered other options such as transferring, returning home, ormoving off campus. Former Dillard University student, YaShuntiGreene currently attends the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
“I had to look at the bigger picture and because my mother is asingle parent, my decision to transfer from a private school to apublic one was a lot easier for her,” “The state funding reallymakes a difference,” said Greene.
Former Dillard University mass communication majors, Joia andJaida Thornton, from Memphis, Tenn., transferred to MiddleTennessee State University, as a result of the increase intuition.
“Dillard University is a wonderful school, but the cost of it isentirely too much for me to fund two students,” said parent,Charlene Thornton.
“Both of my daughters attend Middle Tennesseee State Universityfor less than the price of what it would take to fund one of themat Dillard,” added Thornton.
Elisia Johnson, another former Dillard University student, nowattends Sam Houston University in Huntville Texas, after making thedecision to transfer, because of Dillard’s tuition increase.
“The fact that Dillard is unable to provide a plentiful amountof money for me left me with no other choice but to transfer. Isimply could not afford to stay there,” said Johnson.
While some students opted to transfer, others found thealternative of moving into an apartment easier, as a way oflessening the amount of money they owe to Dillard.
“I have saved thousands of dollars by moving off campus,”said Kimberly Davis, a nursing major from Monroe, La.
Various students from other universities considered Dillard, butdecided not to attend, after considering the full tuition.
Zuri Macormick, a Southern University student was very close toattending Dillard, but changed her mind after comparing its tuitionto other universities.”
“I just could not see myself paying that much money for anundergrad degree,” said Macormick.
Along with Dillard, other universities tuition is on the rise.College students throughout the country are being forced to makealternative decisions regarding their education.
Until change occurs, many students can only hope for the amountof scholarships and grants they are awarded to cover the cost oftuition at other institutions.
Mr. Sidney Evans, Vice President of Business and Finance wasunavailable for questioning.