February 13, 2015

Dear Dickinson Parents and Students:

As parents and students, you have witnessed firsthand the transformative nature of a Dickinson education brought about by a world-class faculty, an exceptional academic program, a supportive residential environment and the availability of myriad opportunities in and out of the classroom for students to explore their interests and passions. This is what makes a Dickinson education so rare and special—and it is also why attending a college like Dickinson is not inexpensive. As a college, we continue to work very hard to control our costs through very thoughtful decision making and careful review of our finances. For instance, this year the entire campus has moved to a practice of zero-based budgeting to ensure that the college’s operating budget is allocated in accordance with our institutional priorities. The benefits derived from this process will enhance the educational experience for all students. 

I want to share with you that Dickinson’s Board of Trustees recently approved the college’s comprehensive fee schedule for the 2015-16 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 2015-16 academic year will increase by 3.62 percent (or $2,162) to $61,826, from the 2014-15 price of $59,664. In our continuing effort to allow families to plan for subsequent years, it should be noted that the increase to the comprehensive fee for the past six years has remained between 3.47 and 3.68 percent. 

Please know that the decision to increase our tuition and fees was made after extensive discussions on campus with representative students, faculty, administrators, support staff and trustees. Through a review of the pricing trends of admissions-overlap institutions, we found that the average tuition and fees at our peer institutions increased at an average rate of 3.87 percent in the most recent year. We feel that we can increase our tuition and fees 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 $43 million in financial aid for the 2015-16 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 at www.dickinson.edu/studentaccounts. 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