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The Blue & Gray Press | May 24, 2018

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UMW named a best value for small schools

What is the price of sitting by the fountain? Of eating Mama Jean’s pasta? Is tuition worth seeing Dean Rucker, Associate VP and Dean of Student Life, in his Pooh Bear costume every Halloween?
According to Kiplinger, a Washington, D.C. based company who publishes material on finances and business, the cost of attending the University of Mary Washington is $18,078 a year for instate students. Out-of-state students pay about $30,948. UMW provides payment plans in order to stretch out this sum and also relieves stress for some students with various merit and creative scholarships.
Some UMW students believe that the cost of college is excessive.
“I feel like people shouldn’t have to pay for their education. In France people do not have to pay for their education, the government supports them. But I feel like the money I pay for this school is worth it, in comparison to other schools,” said Ashley Rowles, a sophomore French major.
However, the testing required to get into a French school is intense. Students take a test in eighth grade, in which they decide whether to go to a trade based school or an academic school. Parents hope their children will graduate from the managerial schools around the country instead of university, because, though the schools are free, if a student fails their exams they are no longer allowed to attend. Few students make it past the second year of university in this manner.
“I think Mary Washington is one of the best educations for the price range. However, I was lucky enough to get a scholarship, and I’m lucky to have what I have. There are opportunities to get scholarships out there and it feels like a miracle, but I’d definitely say it’s possible,” said sophomore Claire Merenda, who received the Mary Jane Aher ’46 scholarship, which covers all of Merenda’s tuition and was one of the two full rides of its kind awarded for her year.
Many students said that their decision to come to UMW is due to its value being better than other schools.
The Kiplinger website agrees with this, rating the price of going to UMW as the sixth best value in a public small college in the United States. With other schools on the list having high scores and good reputations, the competition for this is understandably a tough one.
UMW also has high SAT scores, with over 60 percent of students scoring above 600 on the math portion of the SATs. Kiplinger also listed the 14 students per faculty ratio, which attributes to availability of professor assistance and office hours.
“Would I like to spend less money? Yes, of course. But I’ve committed to be here,” said French major Kate Honeycutt. “I feel like the relationships I have with my professors and a classmate is worth any effort that it would take to get here. This is a reputable liberal arts institution. I wouldn’t be here if I couldn’t afford it.”