February 13, 2014

Dear Dickinson Parents and Students:

As you know, Dickinson is committed to providing a distinctive residential liberal-arts education, one that inspires students to discover connections, take a global view and find sustainable solutions to complex problems. This kind of educational approach is rare and incredibly valuable. We appreciate the investment you have made in the future.

Our small class sizes, regular interaction between students and expert faculty, and rich residential experience form the vital foundation our students need to face a rapidly changing future. But those features are not inexpensive. We work hard to control costs while maintaining the quality of the Dickinson experience. For example, we are holding the institution’s operating budget flat for the coming fiscal year, but you can be assured this will not in any way affect the numerous enhanced educational opportunities available to our students.

Dickinson’s Board of Trustees recently approved the college’s fee schedule for the 2014-15 academic year. We are providing notice at this time to give you the opportunity to adjust your Tuition Payment Plan agreement or to make other financial arrangements in preparation for the upcoming year at Dickinson. The annual price for tuition, fees, room and board for the 2014-15 academic year will increase by 3.47 percent (or $2,002) to $59,664, from the 2013-14 price of $57,662. The current student fee of $450, which supports student activities and health, counseling and wellness services on campus, is unchanged for the 2014-15 academic year. In our continuing effort to allow families to plan for subsequent years, it should be noted that the increase to the comprehensive fee for each of the past three years has been 3.47 percent.

The decision to increase our tuition and fees during these continuing difficult economic times was made after an extensive review of the pricing trends of admissions-overlap institutions and discussions on campus with representative students, faculty, administrators, support staff and trustees. Through this review, we found that the average tuition and fees at private, nonprofit four-year institutions increased at an average rate of 3.8 percent in the most recent year. We feel that we can increase our tuition and fees at this time at a rate lower than that average while still providing the highly competitive and personalized education you have come to expect at Dickinson.

Commensurate with our commitment to access and affordability and our efforts to assist students and their families, the college will budget more than $40 million in financial aid for the 2014-15 academic year. This allocation of financial assistance reflects Dickinson’s ongoing commitment to access and affordability and our desire to help more students with financial need in the coming years. It is important to remember that each financial aid case is assessed individually and that all students may not receive an increase in their need-based financial aid as a result of the tuition increase.

As you begin to plan for the next academic year, I encourage you to visit the Student Accounts Office Web site. This site provides information about available payment methods, tuition payment plans, loans and tax benefits for education. Members of the student accounts team are also ready to help you and can be reached at 717-245-1953 or stuaccts@dickinson.edu.

Thank you for your commitment to Dickinson College.


Nancy A. Roseman
President and Professor of Biology