The forty thousand dollar question

Hannah Misner

Forty grand is a hefty chunk of change to pay for a post-secondary education. With 6,892 undergraduate students paying that sum, it comes to roughly $275,000,000 that Villanova University pockets from our bank accounts every year. But where exactly does all of that money go? The answer seems to be a mystery. The Admissions Office, Financial Aid Office and even the Bursar’s Office cannot divulge the breakdown of the distribution of tuition. However, after examining the statistics, we can get a better idea of where all that money is sent…aside from into the countless sprinklers inundating the campus.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that, for 2003, the average salary for college professors ranged from $51,350 to $94,620. Villanova has a student-teacher ratio of 13-to-1. If each professor’s salary is paid for by three of those students’ tuition of approximately $30,000 each (without room and board), that still leaves the university with ten students’ payments for a total of $300,000. This remaining money likely goes to maintenance and buildings and grounds operation.

Although we don’t know exactly where the large block of $30,000 labeled simply “tuition” ultimately ends up, the additional $10,000 covers room and board, a meal plan, health care and the enigmatic “general fee” of $300.

Despite the high expenses, many students go to great lengths to attend Villanova University. Financial assistance aids 62.7 percent of undergraduates every year, and the average indebtedness at graduation of these students is $29,675. The majority of students appear to be pleased with what they get for their money, as Villanova has a return rate of 94%. However the university spends its money, it makes the atmosphere at Villanova pleasant, the grounds beautiful and the education valuable.