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Tuition, R&B and Fees Up 3.9%: $70,791

Somewhat lost in the fuss about the tabling of plans to increase the size of the College is the administration’s decision to increase tuition by a super-inflationary 3.9% to a whopping $70,791. Of course, you already knew that was going to happen if you had read this space on January 4, 2018:

We can expect an increase from the College for the 2018-2019 academic year of well over 4%, though the beancounter in Phil might finesse things and only go up 3.9% (even though the CPI increased by only 2.23% over the past year).

You will also recall Phil making fashionable noises some years back about the need to limit tuition increases. Here’s what he told the New York Times on November 29, 2012 when he was named the College’s new President:

Dr. Hanlon, who will be the 10th Dartmouth graduate to become its president, said he expected to focus closely on the college’s cost structure and finances. “The historic funding model for higher ed is close to unsustainable,” he said. “We can’t continue superinflationary tuition increases.”

On November 4, 2013 at the General Faculty meeting, The D quoted Hanlon as making the same assertion:

Hanlon also announced his intent to keep the College’s tuition rates flat with inflation. The cost of higher education has increased at a rate of 3 to 5 percent above the rate of inflation for the last 40 years, and Hanlon said the College must find a way to slow this trend.

“That funding model is unsustainable and very near a breaking point,” Hanlon said. “If we don’t get this under control, the next Affordable Care Act is going to be the ‘Affordable Education Act.’”

On June 18, 2014 Phil told the Valley News:

But Hanlon also pledged to rework a financial model that is “unsustainable and probably at the breaking point” and to hold back future tuition increases to no more than 1 percent above the rate of inflation as measured by employment cost indices. If the college and its peers failed to act after decades of tuition increases two or three points above the rate of inflation, he warned, “the government is going to step in and do it for us.”

He made the same statement in a February 12, 2015 interview with the Caltech alumni magazine (he received his Ph.D from Caltech in 1981):

I expect a period of significant change in the years ahead in US higher education driven by multiple factors: opportunities provided by IT; the impacts of globalization and the reality that the traditional funding model of higher education is unsustainable and probably near the breaking point.

Thanks Phil. You haven’t come close to keeping your promise. In each year of your Presidency, the cost of attending Dartmouth has risen at near twice the rate of inflation. Did you even try?


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