College raises comprehensive fee for the 2022-23 school year

Gabe Miller

The 2022-2023 comprehensive fee will be $77,300, a three-and-a-half percent increase from 2021-2022. This figure includes tuition, housing, meals, and mandatory student fees.

This is the first time that many students at the College will experience a traditional increase in their cost of attendance. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on the student experience — such as the elimination of Winter Study, a limited athletics program, and the option to attend classes remotely — the College reduced its 2020-2021 comprehensive fee by 15 percent to $63,200. For the 2021-2022 academic year, as in-person learning for all students resumed, the College reverted to its pre-COVID comprehensive fee of $74,660, which is the rate that it was planning to charge before the pandemic for 2020-2021. This rate was a 2.7 percent increase from the 2019-2020 cost of attendance.

In his March 3 email to the classes of 2023, 2024, and 2025 announcing the change, Vice President for Finance and Operations Mike Wagner explained that, despite the increase in the price of tuition, the College is mindful of the size of its comprehensive fee. “We continued on Page 4 understand that paying for college is a large and meaningful investment in your future,” he wrote. “We try to do our part by limiting annual increases, while prudently investing in people and programs that will provide you with an education of lifelong value, well beyond the sticker price.”

Wagner also noted that the College will increase financial aid accordingly and that students for whom the increase poses a burden should speak with Student Financial Services. “The total cost of such an education is high, but we’re committed to providing financial aid for those requiring support,” he wrote. “We never want the cost to prevent students from attending [the College].”

Next year’s planned comprehensive fee increase comes on the heels of recent inflation, which was up 7.5 percent year-over-year this January and had wide-ranging impacts on the economy. Faculty and staff pay is also adjusted to account for inflation. The College had a 2.5 percent increase planned but raised it an additional three percent in December 2021 due to unexpected levels of inflation. Student pay for campus jobs at the College has likewise increased to $14.25 per hour, following Massachusetts’ annual minimum wage increase plan, which will again increase next year when the minimum wage becomes $15 per hour.