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Home News Concordia raises tuition 4.7% for 2016-2017

by Ben Middendorf


On Feb. 9, President Brian Friedrich announced to the Student Senate changes to tuition, room and board, and the technology fee for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Friedrich also sent an email explaining these changes to all Concordia University, NE students on Feb. 10.

According to this email, full-time undergraduate tuition for a year rose from $34,070 to $35,680. The different room and meal plan fees rose an average of $460. The technology fee, which now also includes a facility fee, rose from $300 to $600.

“I think one of the ways [the tuition increase] will benefit students is our ongoing ability to hire faculty and staff in critical areas. We want to continue to offer a high quality academic experience with the most qualified faculty we can find,” Friedrich said in an interview. “It will [also] continue to enable us to be very competitive in terms of the facilities that we provide our students, and the technology and resources that we provide our students.”

In previous years, the technology fee increased by around $50 a year. According to Friedrich, the reason for doubling the fee in 2016-2017 is the expansion of parking facilities.

“The drumbeat that I continue to hear is the parking drumbeat,” Friedrich said. “I think we’ve made a little bit of progress this year, doing some things differently, but that continues to be an ongoing concern.”

According to Friedrich, Concordia has obtained three different properties, including one behind Dorcas and Ester Halls and one behind Jonathan Hall. New parking lots will be built on these properties with the assistance of the new facility fee, which Friedrich hopes will help with current parking concerns and accommodate the likely increase in student population next year.

“[We’ve] looked at a set of Capital projects, and we’ve said the way in which we’ll do that is we won’t charge students the full cost of those projects.” Friedrich said. “We will implement those projects based on funds from donors and student investment. As much as tuition’s increasing, and as high as it is, the reality is that if students were paying for everything, it would be even higher.”

According to Friedrich, there are no current plans to raise the scholarships that Concordia provides to students, although full-time church work and some other scholarships do increase in amount as a student advances in academic year.

“We want to be as transparent and realistic as possible as students plan for the costs of their entire educational experience at Concordia,” Friedrich said in an email interview. “[W]hen prospective students ask about tuition increases after their first year at Concordia, the admission and financial aid staff indicate that ‘historically tuition, room and board costs have increased in the range of 4-5% annually.’”

When compared to other colleges in the Concordia University system and the Great Plains Academic Conference, Concordia University, Nebraska still ranks as the third least expensive school in both categories.

Student reactions to the tuition increase have been mixed.

“I understand part of why it has to happen,” sophomore Christopher Genszler said. “I just worry that some students may not be able to return next year, which could mean that they have to raise tuition more for the remaining students.”

“To be honest, if I don’t find another source of income, I don’t think I’ll be able to come back next year,” freshman Rebecca Axford said.

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