By Shreeya Pattekar (Loyola sophomore)
The 2023 fall semester sees the biggest increase in Loyola’s tuition in recent years. Undergraduate tuition, excluding room and board, rose by 4.5% to a total of $50,270 as compared to a previous $48,100.
Students are left fuming and confused, upset that they have to pay more than they signed up for. With many of them paying tuition through student loans, this increase has a significant effect on their financial choices in the coming school year.
Where is the tuition going?
On LOCUS, each student gets a breakdown of the various categories which their tuition goes to. Each school has different rates, with Nursing being the most expensive at $25,690. Since every school has their own needs, they may need a higher or lower amount of money depending on the growth of new programs.
The specifics of money distribution in each school is unknown. When interviewing Loyola students, most of them believed the tuition was going towards paying staff members. It turns out they were right.
“Approximately 67% of the university’s operating budget pays salary and benefits of faculty staff across Loyola,” said Wayne Magdziarz , Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer & Chief Business Officer at Loyola University Chicago.
Is the tuition increase normal?
However, while this year’s tuition increase has been higher than in recent years, the increase should not be surprising, as Loyola has not broken any of their promises concerning the established standards for tuition increase rates.
“We have held to our commitment to keep any one year’s tuition increase no more than 1.5% of the average 10-year increase, which was 3.6%,” said Magdziarz.
Rising inflation is the main reason why tuition has gone up significantly, not only in Loyola, but other Chicago universities as well.
“Our increase for the coming year is about average given what we are seeing with other universities—with increases as large as 7% and as low as 3%,” said Magdziarz.
The University of Chicago’s tuition has increased by 5.41% for the 2023-2024 year while Northwestern University’s tuition has increased by 4.44%. DePaul University’s tuition increase is the lowest at 2%.
Increase in Financial Aid
Along with the tuition increase, there will also be a 5.5% increase in financial aid, self-funded by the university.
“Self-funded or unfunded aid is financial aid not supported by gifts or endowment. It is a real dollar discount off the full tuition rate that the university discounts, resulting in less net revenue to run the rest of the university,” said Magdziarz.
Endowments are financial assessments (including money) that are donated to universities. Since Loyola is a smaller school and has smaller endowments, they do not have as much money as bigger universities to fund financial aid.
Even with the increase in financial aid, many financially struggling students do not get a significant amount of financial aid.
“I feel like they don’t care about students. They want us to come here but I feel like they are not making it accessible to come here,” said Kayla Mkandawire (20), a sophomore at Loyola.
For others, the tuition was too high to even continue attending the university.
“With a half ride presidential scholarship, I still struggled to pay my tuition dues at the beginning of every semester. My FAFSA reflected that I was in financial need for university and Loyola was not able to provide me what I needed to afford the school,” said Megan Lawrence (20) a sophomore at University of Illinois at Chicago and a former Loyola student.
Students who are having financial difficulty with Loyola are recommended to stop by the financial aid office.