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Whittier College won’t raise tuition for fall 2020

WHITTIER — Whittier College will not raise tuition for fall 2020, the school announced Tuesday. 

The Board of Trustees’ decision to freeze tuition will benefit incoming and continuing undergraduate students, school officials said, and is a calculated effort to “remove barriers to higher education and reduce students’ debt load.” 

“Whittier College prides itself on being a national model in providing access to higher education to students from all backgrounds. However, access to higher education must go hand in hand with affordability,” said Whittier College President Linda Oubré. “Because student debt is an ever-increasing concern, Whittier has decided to take this significant step toward easing the financial burdens that students and their families face in their quest for a college education.”

In conjunction with the freeze, Whittier College is launching a fundraising campaign focused on creating new scholarships for students with unmet financial need. 

In recent years, Whittier has held tuition increases to about 3 percent annually. It also provided $46.9 million in financial aid assistance benefitting 93% of the college’s undergraduate student body during the 2017-18 school year.  

 “The decision to put the brakes on a tuition increase for 2020 is a first step in the College’s efforts to address the complex and far-reaching issue of college affordability,” said Whittier College Board of Trustees Chair Jim Brown. “We are committed to finding multiple ways to ensure that finances are not a barrier for students who want to be part of Whittier’s unique and innovative academic community.”

The college will also focus its attention on finding alternative avenues to generate revenue such as developing new non-degree and certificate programs, growing graduate programs and summer enrollment, and seeking new partnerships with foundations and private organizations.

Whittier College ranks as one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the nation, with students of color constituting more than 70% of the student body. More than 40% of Whittier students are the first in their families to attend college and most receive some form of financial aid.

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