By Oana Vesa
At $10,144, Albion College has the most expensive room and board in Michigan. This comes from ecollegefinder.org, who recently released a map depicting the colleges in each state with the most expensive room and board from data from the National Center of Education Statistics.
Albion College’s Student Senate carefully analyzed the data of several colleges in Michigan for confirmation. While ecollegefinder’s information is from the 2013-14 school year, the cost for room and board for the 2014-15 school year is around the same price: $10,550. This places the college above other liberal arts schools in Michigan by a little – such as Alma College which costs $9,490 and Kalamazoo College which costs $8,679.
Warner Ball, Wellston senior, Academic and Student Affairs Chairperson within Student Senate, who has studied the list, shares what other components make up the high price tag. “There are a lot of things that go into the cost of a dorm here that doesn’t simply involve the price to heat a room or turn the lights on. We also include student health services, campus safety, counseling, etc., in the cost,” Ball said.
The college’s historical tuition data for the past 30 years illustrates that room and board prices increase annually. Austin Moccia, Grosse Ile senior and third year student senate representative, comments that the rising overall cost of the college is an issue that needs to be addressed.
“I think that should serve as a motivator to the administration to work with student senate to come up with a solution,” Moccia said.
Drew Snider, St. Clair sophomore, believes that at the moment Albion should not hold this title. “I think that the dorms are very outdated and that they shouldn’t be at the price they are right now,” Snider said. “If they were to renovate, I think it would definitely be worth it because this is a prestigious college.”
Zarmina Amin, West Bloomfield first year, expresses a concern about the heaters in Wesley Hall. “It sounds like a squirrel is in your room when it’s on,” Amin said.
Even though Albion College is not in the top ten in the country for having the most expensive room and board, the proclamation of it having the most expensive room and board in the state may lead to it affecting the college’s image for prospective students. Martina Zafferani, San Marino sophomore, voices her thoughts regarding the high prices. “If it’s so expensive, less people will apply to it,” Zafferani said.
Maggie Berwick, Rochester first year, expresses her reaction to the high cost depicted by way of ecollegefinder.org’s map. “I guess now it makes me think I should have higher expectations,” Berwick said.
Snider agrees that it could hold back perspective students from applying. “I think it makes a lot of high schoolers look the other way when they see a high price like that,” Snider said.
On the other hand, Chris Herweyer, Wyoming sophomore, comments that this might help spread the college’s name. “No one wants to attend the college with the most expensive tuition, but then again, people who haven’t heard about Albion will hear about it now, which goes with the idea that all publicity is good publicity,” Herweyer said.
Moreover, Ball expresses the positive aspects of the situation. “Also consider this: the reason some people come here is the opportunity to have small class sizes and more professor interaction. That comes at a price,” Ball said. “We pay for the convenience of being, sometimes, one of six people in a classroom.”