The Board of Directors voted last week to raise undergraduate tuition. Again.

Although this year’s proposed 6.2 percent tuition increase is less than last year’s hike of 7 percent, this increase still outpaces that of many of Georgetown’s peer and competitor institutions and raises the full cost of attending Georgetown to nearly $45,000 a year. If tuition continues to increase at the 6.2 percent rate, in just under 14 years the annual cost of a Georgetown education will reach the unfathomable sum of $100,000.

Unfortunately this editorial may appear strikingly similar to one published about this at the same time last year. But as tuition continues to increase without a noticeable change in services offered to students by the university, students must hold the university to greater standards of disclosure and question how exactly our money is being used.

As tuition goes up at an incomprehensible rate, the university fails to clearly account for how it plans to use the additional funds. Administrators invoke the usual rhetoric to explain the tuition increase – improving financial aid, building new facilities, maintaining facilities and providing competitive salaries – but these vague standbys cannot stand alone as acceptable explanations without tangible results. Other reputable universities deal with similar overhead costs, and manage without implementing 6-7 percent tuition increases every year.

The administration is obligated to make its budget more transparent, and accordingly students and parents must demand this. In addition to questioning where the money is going, students and parents must ask why it is going there – questions as to whether the university would be better off freed of the Medical Center’s burden and whether the school is justified in increasing tuition to increase financial aid, must be raised.

Most students are aware of the school’s beleaguered financial status, but the university should no longer make its students unfairly bear the brunt of its financial woes. Students must also do more than complain each year as the costs rise. Concerns over these rising costs – whether this be the price of tuition, or the fact that studying abroad in a Third World country now costs nearly $45,000 per year – must be articulated to the administration, if for no other reason than to spare ourselves the redundancy of reading this editorial again next year.

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