Board of Trustees Meeting

CORe Update from the Finance & Facilities Committee

The Board of Trustees Finance and Facilities Committee meets quarterly with some members of Olin College to discuss the college’s finances and receive updates on facilities. I sat in on this quarter’s meeting and want to share the important topics with the rest of the student body.

  • Tuition will increase by about 3.5% (tentatively) to $43,500 per year. Room will stay the same price at $9000 and board will increase by 3.3% to $6,200. Total cost increase just under 3%. This is less than last year.
  • Tuition cost is mid-pack compared to other elite institutions (before applying the scholarship).
  • Olin has higher than average reported housing costs when compared to other elite institutions, but much of this can be attributed to other schools having low-quality, low-cost first year housing that decreases the average cost.
  • While many members of the board are interested in returning to a full-tuition scholarship, the board is not pursuing it at present, as the school needs that revenue at present time.
  • Olin currently has the lowest average graduate indebtedness of all schools in Massachusetts, though this will likely change.
  • Many upgrades to facilities, such as the dining hall dishwasher, the Milas Hall roof, IT upgrades, and a new Olin van, took place this year.
  • Planned facilities upgrades are electronic transcripts, a new content management system (Drupal), repair of AC furniture and dorm furniture, replacing the police car, new A/V equipment for Milas Hall, improved infrastructure for IT.
  • Olin’s spending was better than the approved budget and revenue was higher than expected.
  • Models suggest that the endowment will most likely continue to grow well into the college’s future.
  • The money raised from half-tuition is significant and helps keep Olin financially sound.
  • The Board’s top priority for tuition is to keep Olin affordable through excellent financial aid.

The Committee members asked me, point-blank, what investment the student body would most appreciate. I told them that we could benefit from more project space. The large project building is a great asset, and I think that more space for individual projects, engineering teams, and research could really kick our efforts up a notch.