NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.– Tuition at almost every college keeps rising while families, students, and the institutions struggle to keep up the pace when it comes to grants, scholarships, and loans.
Ask most students or their parents, and they’ll quickly complain about college costs. So, we wanted to find out where your tuition dollars go to Westminster.
We sent our Terrell Cleckley out to track down some answers.
I talked with WC’s Finance VP Ken Romig to find out where tuition money goes.
“Tuition is just over 35-thousand dollars per year,” said Romig
But that’s before you get any discounts, any financial aid, or scholarships.
“Our average is just around $21 to $22-thousand dollars a year.”
So, where does all that tuition money go?
“That’s 60-percent goes to salaries and benefit. And within the people who work here about a third of them are faculty. So again what you are paying for is that type of attention from faculty.”
The faculty to student ratio at Westminster College is 12-to-one. And students like Daniel Bogen, a chemistry student, says he benefits from that faculty interaction and the hands-on learning.
“I feel like I am getting a great education here,” Bogen said. “There are lots of opportunities. I can do lots of different things that I wouldn’t get to do if I wasn’t here.”
“I think our tuition money is being used in a few places,” said biochemistry major Jarret Vrabel. “Upgrades in the dorms, for one. I know Shaw and Russell Hall have gotten some renovations as well as the athletic facilities.”
But those improvements are not coming from student’s pockets…Westminster is spending a lot at Hoyt to update science facilities. Most of that money is part of a $14.1 million dollar bond the College took out.
“You initially don’t think of those things,” said Vrabel.
“I think I’m paying for the services of getting a great education,” Bogen remarked.
“You’ve got great access to a tremendous faculty here, and I think at a very good price,” Romig added. “You would be paying a similar price, actually slightly more to attend Pitt or Penn State. You’ve got great access to a wide variety of education there, but You’re not going to have that same access to faculty as you do at Westminster.”
Your tuition dollars don’t even cover the whole year. It runs out in late February. It is then picked up by donations from alumni.