The Student News Site of Wofford College

Old Gold & Black

Breaking News
  • Issue 7 Out Now!

Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

OPINION: Men’s Basketball just won’t back down
Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

Cost of the College

Cost+of+the+College

President Samhat answers questions regarding approved 2019-2020 tuition increase 

When the class of 2019 entered Wofford as freshmen, Wofford’s comprehensive fee was $40,245. The current freshmen, the class of 2022, were introduced to Wofford with a sticker price of $56,530 last year. The 2019-2020 stated tuition, which is what current high school seniors have their eyes on, was approved by the Wofford Board of Trustees as $58,935, an $18,690 difference from what the current senior class paid their freshman year at Wofford. 

A nearly $20,000 rise in tuition over the course of only four years prompts many questions from students, parents and prospective Wofford families, among others. To help explain the reasoning and rationalization behind this significant rise, President Samhat provided responses to a number of questions posed by the Old Gold & Black staff. The questions and responses are as follows: 

What are the details of the most recent rise in tuition? 

Story continues below advertisement

“The Wofford Board of Trustees approved a comprehensive fee – which includes tuition, fees, room and board – of $58,935 for the 2019-20 academic year. This represents a 4.25 percent increase, which is in line with increases in recent years.” Samhat added that “This year’s increase is lower than our historical increases have been over the past 10 years or so. Since 2013-14, our comprehensive fee increase has ranged from just under 3 percent to 4.5 percent.” 

He also noted “Wofford is recognized by numerous national college guides and rankings as a ‘best value’ college with a strong financial aid program and an excellent FOUR-YEAR graduation rate.” 

Who has input on tuition increases and who makes final say-so? 

“The Wofford College Board of Trustees considers recommendations made by the President’s Cabinet, then approves the tuition and fees.” 

What are the reasons for the most recent rise in tuition, and what will the increased tuition money go to fund? 

First, Samhat said, “Nearly 85 percent of the cost of running the college is supported by the comprehensive fees, with 66 percent funded by tuition and fees.” 

As for the components of “running the college,” he said, “Wofford is committed to providing our faculty, staff and coaches a decent wage to provide them a quality standard of living. It is important that we keep good people here to teach and to maintain the college. We are a complex organization. Operating and maintaining everything from classrooms and athletics fields to the Wellness Center and student health, Campus Safety for student protection and security are necessary expenses.”  

To emphasize the relationship between the above components and the student experience, he added, “Everything we do – all expenses – are focused on providing the best student experience possible. We are committed to continuing to offer transformative educational experiences for our students. And it is important to note that the comprehensive fee, even when discounted, provides for not only the educational experience, but also the residential experience, which includes housing, food, recreational and cultural opportunities, etc.” 

What are your comments on two consecutive years of significant increases in tuition? 

“The tuition increase last year was within the same range as this year’s increase; this year’s increase actually is lower than last year. Again, the cost of operating Wofford College, like any college, business or household, increases each year as we provide a wide ranges of services for students, add faculty and staff and provide them with a quality standard of living, and as we add new facilities with additional operating costs. Also, the cost of doing business – supplies, utilities, etc. – must be covered.” 

Do other comparable colleges increase their tuition as much as ours has been increasing in recent years? 

“In comparison to some of our peer institutions – including Centre, Davidson, Furman, Rhodes, Sewanee and Washington and Lee – Wofford’s comprehensive fee for 2019-20 is the second lowest, next to Centre, and Wofford’s is $4,000 lower than the average fee of all of those institutions. These institutions increased their comprehensive fee within a range of 2.7 percent to 5.3 percent, so Wofford is well within the range of our peers.” 

Is the rise in tuition a part of the ‘For Wofford’ fundraising campaign? 

“No, the ‘For Wofford’ campaign is separate from tuition and fees. The campaign covers four essential pillars: Student Opportunity in an Inclusive Community’ ‘Excellence in Academics’ ‘Distinctive Student Experiences’ and ‘Our Historic Campus’.” 

Have future projections for tuition for the next few years been determined? 

“It is difficult to predict whether tuition will increase over the next few years. As the cost of operating the college increases, there necessarily will be an increase in tuition to help cover those costs. We will continue to try to keep increases within the 4 percent range for the foreseeable future.” 

When asked if scholarships and other financial aid will increase in correlation with the rise in tuition, President Samhat’s response was inconclusive.

Donate to Old Gold & Black
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Wofford College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Old Gold & Black
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal