Decision Not to Increase Tuition, Room and Board Tied to College's Mission

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - 09:55

Mount Holyoke College, long committed to academic excellence and access for academically talented students from all socioeconomic backgrounds, will not raise tuition or room and board for the 2012-2013 academic year, holding prices at the 2011-2012 rate and making next year the first since 1968 that the College has not experienced an increase in the cost of attendance.

The decision, made by the Board of Trustees this past weekend, is based on the College’s commitment to promoting access by containing the cost of a college education, coupled with the belief that the current higher education model of increasing tuition in excess of inflation is unsustainable.

“If we hope to retain our nation’s historic commitment to educating for democracy, colleges and universities cannot continue to threaten access and add to already burgeoning loan burdens for students,” said MHC President Lynn Pasquerella.

Pasquerella emphasized the importance of a liberal arts education in today's global community and the need for adaptability and flexibility in a world of rapidly changing technology. A liberal arts education prepares students to engage in the critical and creative problem solving necessary to thrive in a complex world, she said.

“Only when liberal learning and access successfully combine will higher education’s public purpose – that of educating for democracy – truly be fulfilled,” said Pasquerella.“Denying access to higher education not only drastically undermines the promise of equal opportunity for individuals, it limits prospects for economic growth at the national level.”

Founder Mary Lyon established Mount Holyoke in 1837 for the express purpose of providing educational excellence and access for women of all socioeconomic backgrounds. The first of the Seven Sisters, Mount Holyoke has since led the way in educating women for purposeful engagement in the world, and Mary Lyon’s mission remains central to the College today.

The Board of Trustees vote keeps tuition at $41,270 for next year. There will also be no increase in the cost of room and board. More than 70 percent of MHC students currently receive some type of financial aid to offset the cost of attendance.