Tuition at the University of La Verne will increase in the 2020-21 academic year by 2.92% to $44,700, for the full year. The 2019-20 tuition was $43,440.
This increase is the lowest tuition increase the school has seen in 10 years.
Mary Aguayo, vice president of strategic enrollment management, said the University is working hard to keep tuition affordable for students.
And while the price tag for a ULV education is not cheap, it’s important to note that roughly 50% of each tuition dollar is returned to students in the form of scholarships.
“The increase is the lowest we have had in many years,” Aguayo said.
She added that tuition dollars fund the costs of faculty salaries and benefits, facilities and utilities as well as scholarships.
The Board of Trustees approved the 2.92% tuition increase in fall with input from Associate Students of La Verne president and junior political science major Madeline Ruiz, who was invited to share a student report that strongly opposed the increase of tuition.
“I put an emphasis on the students who work full time just to survive and the reality that sometimes students have to choose between paying tuition and eating dinner,” Ruiz said.
Ruiz said that the tuition at the University is already high, and any further increase could be painful for students. Settling on 2.92%, which is close to the annual cost of living increase most working people can expect from their employers, seemed to be a workable compromise.
“There is a bright side,” Ruiz said. “This 2.92% tuition increase is the lowest percentage increase we’ve had.”
Although she had advocated for no tuition increase at all, Ruiz said that keeping it low was an accomplishment and it shows the importance of student voices.
“It gives hope to students that our voices do matter,” Ruiz said. “Hopefully one day we can work to get that increase down to zero.”
Mark Vazquez, a junior kinesiology major, said he was surprised to hear about tuition increase.
“I am surprised to hear it’s the lowest it’s been because tuition at La Verne is pretty expensive,” Vazquez said. “Our tuition is high and the fact that it keeps on rising is frustrating because it makes it harder for some students to finish school without being in a substantial amount of debt.”
However, Vazquez said he is finding hope in the reality of inevitable increases in tuition.
“I would hope the money would go back into projects that benefit all students,” Vasquez said. “That money could go to improving the food selection at the dining halls or redesigning older buildings on campus to improve the learning environment.”
Others, like junior criminology major Julia Varela, are in favor of the increase being relatively low. She spoke about her siblings experiencing higher tuition increases at other private universities.
“I agree with the increase because my sister’s college used to raise it by 10%, so for sure La Verne’s is low,” Varela said.
Varela said she would like to see the money go toward other aspects such as outdated technology throughout campus, particularly new projectors, rented laptops and tablets.
“But either way, if it’s improving the school then I believe it’s fair,” Varela said.
Since 2010, the largest one-year tuition increase was 6.55%, the next lowest – to the planned 2.92% increase for 20-21 – was 3.48%.
Aaron Arellano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org