February 6, 2019


Dear Dickinson Parents:

Knowing that you have made a very significant investment in your student's education, I want to share the college's fee schedule for the 2019-20 academic year, which was approved by the Board of Trustees this past weekend.  This includes a 3.42 percent increase in the annual price for tuition, room, board and fees, which brings the comprehensive fee from $68,334 to $70,674.  Here are the specific amounts for each component of the comprehensive fee:

Tuition:        $55,948
Room:           $7,310
Board:           $6,866
Student fee:      $550
Total Fee:    $70,674

While we are increasing the fee, our price increases remain at the lower end of the increases among our peer institutions.  This intensive, highly individualized education -- the very best preparation for your student's future -- is expensive to provide, and while we do our best to control costs, some adjustments remain necessary.

As you know, Dickinson has continued to invest in our facilities and our program.  Since 2002, more than $42 million has been invested in student living spaces.  We continue to offer an exceptional academic program, and we have maintained our 9 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio.  We are a leader among higher education institutions in the areas of global study and sustainability, and we are partnering with the Carlisle community in more innovative ways.  Dickinson enjoys an A+ credit rating, a strong sign of financial health, but we must budget carefully.  During the past three years, we have streamlined and eliminated $10 million in costs while minimizing the impact on the student experience.

In addition, several other changes have been outlined for the next academic year, and we have outlined those below.

Wellness Center
We will continue to offer medical and counseling appointments with no copay for students.  We will, however, be increasing the annual student health fee from $100 to $200.  In response to increased demand for services, we have hired additional staff for the Wellness Center and expanded our hours of service in recent years.  Every academic year, we schedule more than 10,000 appointments and counseling sessions.  Your student's health and wellness are very important to us, and we want to be sure we can continue to serve their needs.

The college has not increased the pricing for different types of housing since we implemented the current system in 2002, even though we have made significant renovations each year.  In fact, $2.5 million will be invested this year into 14 small houses.  For the next academic year, rates for different types of housing are increasing, and it is important for students to consider cost when making their selections:

  • Students who select a single room will pay $650 more than students living in two-person residence hall rooms.
  • Students who choose double rooms in apartments or small houses will pay an additional $950.
  • Students who elect to live in triples will pay $350 less than the standard double-room rate.
  • Students who pick a single room within an apartment or small house will pay an additional $1,600.
  • Students who require a specific room type for an accommodation will pay the standard double-room rate.

Going forward, housing price increases will not be as large.  Please know that with these increases, Dickinson's housing prices are less than, or very competitive with, peer institutions.

Additionally, employees as well as students who bring their cars will be required to register those cars with Public Safety, and those who wish to park in campus lots will pay a $50 fee for a parking decal.  This registration and payment will be an annual process.  Details of the parking program are being developed by a campus committee.  And lastly, the college is moving toward a centralized travel system that will offer discounts on lodging and airfare.  Students will be permitted to use this system for their personal travel and will be able to enjoy the discounts it provides.  Students who participate in a frequent flyer program or other loyalty program with a hotel chain can still earn credit by booking through the system.

Commensurate with our commitment to access and affordability and our efforts to assist students and their families, the college will budget up to $64 million for financial aid in the 2019-20 year.  It is important to remember that each financial-aid case is assessed individually; therefore, the 2019-20 financial-aid budget does not mean that all students will receive an increase in their need-based aid.

As you begin to plan for the next academic year, I encourage you to visit the Student Accounts Office website 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 ongoing commitment to Dickinson and its vital mission.

Best wishes,

Margee M. Ensign