As the science center opens up, the RISE student scholarship campaign kicks off and the choir program embarks on another year of Christmas concerts, there is no lack of money distribution occurring throughout campus. But as students bury their head in books and expect results around campus, a common misconception takes flight.
Students ignorantly discuss the high tuition price at Concordia with unthoughtful remarks such as “this is where my $45,000 is going?” or “this should be improved. I pay $45,000.” These statements on the college’s financial status leave students sounding uneducated and ungrateful of what truly happens behind the scenes.
The fact is that if you ask any student on campus what they truly pay for tuition, almost all would be able to tell you they don’t pay the full sticker price of $45,000 that the website adsvertises. Concordia College has a staggering 99% of the student body utilizing financial aid or scholarship opportunities. This unparalleled feat is amazing for students and allows for education to touch those it wouldn’t otherwise.
Petty complaints of where our money goes should be outshined by all we accomplish on our true budget. This year alone we opened up a dazzling new Integrated Science Center, had Congressman John Lewis speak on campus as well as Nadia Bolz-Weber and Elizabeth Eaton, a bishop in our campus’ faith. These events are only the surface layer of examples on how Concordia bends and stretches every which way to provide the best $45,000 educational opportunities to students who pay the rate of most state schools. Our theatre department just did their finals bows before break on their “Fiddler on the Roof” production that was directed by Broadway-established, Tony-nominated Bill Russell that led to sold out shows both weekends and students buzzing about the magic performed on stage. Such spectacular events and leaders are made possible only through meticulously slicing and maximizing of the campus budget.
Our supportive alumni network makes a lot of this possible and allows for features around campus like the very bell tower that boisterously chimes on the hour as we scurry to class. I haven’t been in the market to shop for bell towers recently, but I doubt they are simple Costco purchases. All of these facilities are provided by a campus that puts nothing higher than providing opportunities for students to truly become educated citizens of change in our world. So, like any other college, stuff falls in the cracks of financial attention or gets placed on the backburner as some other subject matter is prioritized but Concordia knows its way around a financial budget and does a lot with what is given and is still finding ways to give money to 99% of students.
It’s time to realize and appreciate the financial miracles Concordia performs without blotting a single page and the influential people and events it fosters on a campus that could take a backseat approach to your education. It’s time to check our privilege.