Click here for updates on the evolving COVID-19 situation at Rice
Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Sunday, January 24, 2021 — Houston, TX 46°

Letters to the Editor

3/17/11 7:00pm

To the Editor:

In an article in last week's Thresher ("Tuition increases for incoming Rice students," Mar. 11), it was noted that tuition for next year's incoming class will increase by 5.4 percent. This is in spite of the fact that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the C.P.I. for 2010 only increased 1.5 percent. Over the same period, the S&P 500 increased 12.6 percent (Yahoo Finance) excluding dividends. This substantial increase likely reflects the increase in Rice's endowment, which is the largest revenue source for the university. The university estimates that the endowment is around $4 billion.

It's difficult to justify this increase in light of the above even if, as President Leebron says, the university is facing some potential losses of state and federal funding. He also said, "It is important to note that based on both tuition charges and financial aid, Rice remains one of the most affordable private universities and colleges." It won't remain in that group for long if it keeps raising tuition at a rate over three and a half times the rise in prices.



President Leebron noted, "We have maintained our commitment to generous financial aid and a lower tuition price even in the midst of the present economic environment and our endowment losses." What loss? According to the university itself, the value of the endowment increased by $180 million in the last fiscal year (ending June 30th) and it estimates the increase to be $310 million this year.

Tuition increases far beyond the rate of inflation is not only a strain on next year's students but injurious to the future of the university.

Roy Loya (Parent  '15)



More from The Rice Thresher

OPINION 1/19/21 5:54pm
Let’s heal how we talk about food

How should we discuss food, then? I don’t want to be misunderstood as advising against all food-related conversations. I feel quite the opposite: eating is one of humanity’s oldest social rituals. It’s meant to bring us together. We’re at our best when we engage in conversations that center the enjoyment of food rather than its nutritional content. 

OPINION 12/9/20 11:05pm
Re-return to campus — but to what end?

The first wave of COVID-19 erupted in the U.S. in early 2020. Rice responded quickly: During March 9-15, classes for the week preceding Spring Break were canceled, students were instructed not to return to campus after Spring Break, and instruction after Spring Break was made fully remote. This quick reaction to the pandemic was typical of many organizations and localities all around the country, as it became clear that social distancing was then the only effective way to slow down the spread of the disease. This seems to have worked and, by early May, the first wave was somewhat subsiding. The Rice administration then tasked the Academic Restart Committee with the mission of “Return to Rice.” 

OPINION 12/4/20 12:13pm
Let’s reevaluate music as a social resource

To be sure, a poetic analogy between music and our differences will not resolve any issues directly. It can, however, remind us of our shared humanity. It can get us back in touch with our nature as social animals. It is a nature that is often oppressed by the individualism in our capitalistic society that encourages competition, putting too much focus on the dissonances for our own good. 


Comments

Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.