On September 5, in a mandatory meeting with all faculty in the chapel, President White announced that tuition will remain the same in the 2014-2015 academic year.
The 2014-2015 tuition breaks a steady increase, with costs growing by at least 5% in every academic year since 1990. 2013-2014 saw an increase of 2.6%, the smallest in over twenty years; but new student fees and hikes in the cost of room and board mitigated the difference. Cedarville will charge more for room and board in 2014-2015 as well, but the size of the room and board increase was not announced at today's meeting.
The move to cap tuition hikes comes at a critical time for higher education, with Americans owing more student loan debt than credit card debt. Marginal economic recovery and bleak job prospects could push some high school graduates towards trade schools or community colleges rather than pricier 4-year options. With today's move, Cedarville may be positioning itself to try to maintain enrollment in the face of potential crisis.
Update on September 9: Cedarville has announced a $600 increase in room and board costs for the 2014-2015 academic year. Room and board was set at $5750 for the 2013-2014 year, so the $600 hike represents a 10.4% increase in this category. This increase essentially offsets student savings from the tuition freeze, as it is equivalent to a 2.2% increase in tuition.