By Kayla Daugherty
kdaugherty@my.madonna.edu
Tuition rates have gone up. Again. 
This year the cost per undergraduate credit hour will rise to $506 from $486 of this past year. Nursing students will also feel the pain of the increase, as the costs of nursing courses will go from $540 to $562. 
Though on paper it is only a 4.1 % increase, the significance of undergraduate tuition breaking $500 per credit hour makes many students uneasy.  Graduate students will only have a 4.0% rise in tuition when the costs go from $550 to $572 per credit hour.
Students such as Grace Williamson were alarmed hearing about the increase. Paying for school independently, every dollar is precious to Williamson. Even with a scholarship from Madonna, she works three jobs in order to write Madonna a check every semester. 
“I guess that means I will have to ask for yet another increase in hours at work,” said Williamson. “But eventually there just won’t be enough hours in the day to work. Then how will I afford a college education?” 

As the Vice President of Planning and Enrollment Management for Madonna, Michael Kenney knows paying for school is difficult. He explained that Madonna University does not want to increase costs for students and their families but the university is seeing a hike in operational costs. 
“The tuition costs are impacted by the economy, commercial products we use, utilities and other expenses,” said Kenney. “We also recognize that the economy has adversely affected the ability of students and their families to afford college. We are working on ways to help the students.”
Madonna, a private university costs an average $15,000 a year for a full-time student. This is just over $2,000 more than the cost of in-state tuition at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan during the 2011-2012 school year. 
Michael Quattro, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, encounters students who want to attend Madonna but have financial troubles every day. As Kenney described, Madonna tries to help students afford college. In fact, the majority of the Madonna University’s students utilize financial aid. 
“Over 85 percent of Madonna students receive some type of financial assistance whether it is in the form of scholarships, loans, grants or even veteran benefits,” he said. 
“With the tuition increase, there is a possibility of offering additional scholarships and increasing the amount of current scholarships, such as the Felican Presidential Award” Quattro added.
From an accountant’s point of view, Vice President for Finance and Operations, Leonard Wilhelm said the increase is simply something that has to happen in order for the school to function. He justifies the rise in tuition by explain that every school has a yearly influx of expenses due to operational costs, as well as to maintain the teacher-student ratio. 
“We understand that higher education is an investment for students and their families. It is important for students to receive an education,” said Wilhelm. 
In addition to the increase in tuition, students who live on campus will have added expenses next year. The cost of living at Madonna University is rising 3.7% and the required meal plans will go up another 3.5%. 
Madonna junior living at the university, Char Roana, is not convinced by the university’s explanation of the increase.
“I cannot afford the school as it is now,” said Roana. “Why do they have to increase it again? It’s ridiculous! They say they understand the importance of higher education, but by raising the costs they are limiting the accessibility of college to so many people. I am graduating next year and will not have to deal with them raising the costs again, thank goodness.”mailto:kdaugherty@my.madonna.eduTuition_files/News%20MLK%20day.docxshapeimage_1_link_0

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Tuition passes $500 mark starting in fall