Rayce Patterson | The Echo
Taylor will be increasing tuition to $35,050 per year starting in the Fall of 2019, according to the Taylor University website.
This is a rise of $1,186 from last year, which is an increase of about 3.5 percent. In comparison, Wheaton College's yearly tuition rose $1,280 (3.5 percent) from last year, Grace College's yearly tuition rose $744 (3 percent) and Cedarville University's tuition rose $1,052 (3.5 percent), according to data provided by their admissions teams.
However, Taylor has increased tuition every year for the past several years, according to Chief Financial Officer Stephen Olson. Olson points to cost dynamics and interest in growth.
"There's only a few ways of driving revenue for a business," Olson said. "One is growth, one is raising prices, you can cut your costs and create more margin, or you expand your horizons as to new things. As a college, we're constrained in a lot of those things, especially as a nonprofit."
The term 'nonprofit' can often be misleading because it may make people think that the organization does not make more than it costs to run a business. This is not true of a nonprofit if it wants to be sustainable and grow, and that is what Taylor hopes to do, according to Olson.
Taylor is interested in growth instead of continuing to raise prices. This would allow Taylor to bring more students into campus with new and updated facilities. However, growth can be difficult.
One reason for that is because the trend shows the number of students graduating high school, particularly in the Midwest, is in decline, according to Olson. On top of that, the cost of utilities and other services are constantly increasing. All these factors lead Taylor to resort to price increases to keep the university sustainable.
One of the things that appears to be increasing at a faster rate than tuition cost is the scholarships Taylor provides. Compared to the 2013 fiscal year, the "sticker price" of an education at Taylor has increased by about 20 percent, but the amount of money provided in scholarships has increased about 60 percent, according to Olson. This means students, on average, are paying proportionally less than they did in 2013.
Olson warns students not to get too bogged down with a one-year change and examine the value of a Taylor education.
"I think what Taylor is able to infuse into students is a really high-quality education," Olson said. "But it's an expensive way to do education . . . We're not raising the price because we want to profit more. But it is a recognition that this thing that we do is expensive, but it's expensive because it's really valuable. And so I hope students see that."