By Molly Igoe
President Sheila Bair announced Monday, Dec. 14 that the College will implement a one-year tuition freeze for students enrolled during the fall of 2016, which keeps tuition at $42,484 for the upcoming academic year.
The freeze does not apply to room and board costs, which will increase by 2 percent, or the student fee, which will be reduced by 1.1 percent.
According to the Washington College website, Bair said, “This tuition freeze will provide some financial certainty to our current students and their families, and is just the start of our dedication to making a world-class liberal arts education an accessible dream for all seekers.”
This action is in line with Bair’s larger plan to reduce student debt and increase financial aid for students.
According to an article in the “US News & World Report,” “With 17 percent of borrowers behind in their payments or in default on the nation’s $1.2 trillion in college loans, it’s not surprising that student debt is emerging as a campaign issue for the 2016 election.”
Bair touched on the importance of addressing this growing crisis in her inauguration. She said, “A total of 40 million Americans carry at least one student loan, an increase of 11 million since the financial crisis, and the average debt load for graduates is about $29,000. Such debt hurts the overall economy as young people postpone big investments such as purchasing a house or a car or starting a business.”