Whittier College to Freeze Tuition for Fall 2020

January 14, 2020

In a move to remove barriers to higher education and reduce students’ debt load, Whittier College President Linda Oubré announced that the College’s Board of Trustees has decided to not raise tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The Board of Trustees’ decision to freeze tuition will benefit incoming and continuing undergraduate and graduate students. In conjunction with the freeze, Whittier College is launching a comprehensive fundraising campaign focused on creating new scholarships for students with unmet financial need.

“Whittier College prides itself on being a national model in providing access to higher education to students from all backgrounds. However, access to higher education must go hand in hand with affordability,” said Oubré. "Because student debt is an ever-increasing concern, Whittier has decided to take this significant step toward easing the financial burdens that students and their families face in their quest for a college education.” 

Whittier College ranks as one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the nation, with students of color constituting more than 70% of the student body. More than 40% of Whittier students are the first in their families to attend college and most receive some form of financial aid.

In recent years, Whittier has held tuition increases to a minimum (about 3 percent annually). It also provided $43 million in financial aid assistance benefitting the College’s undergraduate student body during the 2018-19 school year.  

“The decision to put the brakes on a tuition increase for 2020 is a first step in the College’s efforts to address the complex and far-reaching issue of college affordability,” said Whittier College Board of Trustees Chair Jim Brown. “We are committed to finding multiple ways to ensure that finances are not a barrier for students who want to be part of Whittier’s unique and innovative academic community."

The College will also focus its attention on finding alternative avenues to generate revenue such as developing new non-degree and certificate programs, growing graduate programs and summer enrollment, and seeking new partnerships with foundations and private organizations. 

About Whittier College

Whittier College, founded in 1887, is a distinctive, national liberal arts college serving a diverse student population with unique, widely praised curricula. The College campus provides an intimate environment in which about 1,700 students live and study with more than 100 distinguished faculty. Whittier ranks as one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the country and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic Serving Institution. More than 40 percent of Whittier students are the first in their families to attend college and most receive some form of financial aid. Whittier attracts students from every socioeconomic tier, from a myriad of religious and social backgrounds, and from 35 states and 27 countries. In our culture of diversity and inclusion, Whittier mirrors the changing global society in which we live. Through the power of a groundbreaking experience in the liberal arts and sciences, Whittier prepares the kind of leaders our nation and world most need. And, in fulfilling an educational mission of vital importance, Whittier changes lives and transforms communities.


Watch: Full announcement (YouTube)

Download: High-resolution photo of President Oubré

Download: High-resolution photo of Whittier College

Contact: Ana Lilia Barraza, abarraza@whittier.edu, 562.907.4912