April 9, 1998
Geneva, NY — Richard H. Hersh, president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, recently announced that tuition for the 1998-99 academic year will be $22,983. The comprehensive fee (comprising tuition, room, board, and fees) will be $30,243, an increase of 4.5 percent over the current year's $28,944. This matches last year's percentage fee increase, which was the lowest in 23 years.
In a letter to HWS students and their parents, Hersh noted that, while matching last year's low percentage increase is an accomplishment, 4.5 percent is still above the currently projected annual inflation rate. “The cost of college is rising because the expense of providing a sound college education is rising at a greater rate than the CPI,” he said. Among the causes for the rise are the costs of the technological infrastructure and modernization of the library. At present, Internet and campus network capabilities are being extended to every faculty and administrative office and every student residence, he noted.
Hersh wrote that other cost increases were vexing as well. “As the federal and state governments shift the allocation of aid dollars, colleges such as ours face an ever-increasing financial aid budget.” And personnel costs such as compensation and health care, while growing at a slower pace than five years ago, continue at levels above inflation.
“All this is to say that our increased costs determine our tuition and fees even as we continue to raise other funds as one means of eventually decreasing our dependence on tuition,” he told parents. “While we never like to inform you of increases, we do so confident that such funds are appropriately focused in support of educational excellence.”