Fresh Ideas on College Affordability

There are two main driving forces that have led to rising costs of attending Georgetown every year: an increase in our operating costs for university expenses and increase in demand for new student services and resources. These two factors in tandem, especially within the context of need-blind admission policies, make it difficult for the Board of Directors, the Provost’s Office, and other bodies with influence over tuition and fees to balance the trade-offs between costs and delivering a great college experience. Georgetown’s low endowment also means that we must rely more heavily on tuition for our operating revenue than many of our peer universities with higher endowments. With all of this in mind, the task of the next GUSA administration will be to work with the administrators in order to: 1) identify ways that we can lower our expenses without sacrificing the quality of education, especially when we students can play a role in the costs-savings 2) advocate on behalf of students whose family-income lies above university “cutoffs” for services such as GSP, but who still bear a financial burden in attending Georgetown

Initiatives:

  • Push the University to move closer toward zero-based budgeting in order to either decrease our expenses or have a more efficient allocation of our resources, both of which are big wins.
  • Decrease university expenses devoted to utilities by launching an aggressive energy conservation initiative.
    • Teach new students energy conservation techniques on tours and in NSO: turning off lights in empty rooms/using natural lighting when possible, using the stairs if possible, etc.
    • No empty beds for Georgetown summer staff
    • RA training for turning off lights and water in common rooms
    • Faculty training for leaving classrooms
    • Reviewing which lights should stay on in academic buildings in order to retain campus safety but minimize our costs
    • Leaky faucet/shower-head “hotline” for residence halls and other campus buildings
  • Begin a campus-wide discussion on ways that the University is already growing the endowment and determine whether there are other potential means for growth such as changing the moving average spending policy to a hybrid spending policy.
    • Partner with the Office of Advancement for an endowment roundtable for administrators to explain the University’s moving average spending policy
  • Continue to push administration to include costs such as laundry and books into tuition dollars so they are subject to financial aid, especially when we can negotiate opt-in status and especially when the addition would serve as a transfer of costs for the vast majority of students
  • Partner with local companies in the Georgetown neighborhood and near GUTS stops for pre-professional needs such as buying professional attire and dry-cleaning as well as other common expenses
  • Push for more transparency for where tuition dollars go in each department, not just for increases in tuition dollars.
  • Remove as many regulations on student entrepreneurs as possible in order to begin producing more successful startup companies each year
  • Continue to work on food security efforts. Establish a grab and go style pantry where students with financial need can get groceries in times of need
  • Simplify process of getting your money back when services such as laundry machines, vending machines, etc. malfunction, and do not provide their service.