The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

December 11, 2013

College presidents write of liberal arts' value


“We want to lower cost while protecting and even enhancing value,” Chopp said. “That is very much the mood right now within our schools.”

Weiss and Chopp decided to work together on the book after hosting a conference on the future of liberal arts colleges in April 2012 at Lafayette College, which Weiss formerly led.

The book is a collection of essays by 20 former and current college presidents, and includes lead chapters by Chopp and Weiss. The two presidents discuss the role of small liberal arts colleges, which collectively educate 6 percent of students in higher education. Swarthmore also is home to a special institute aimed at enhancing and fostering liberal arts education worldwide.

In an interview, Chopp and Weiss defended the cost of attending their institutions. Haverford’s costs likely will top $60,000 next year. The college currently charges $59,236 in tuition and room and board. Swarthmore charges $57,870.

The presidents emphasized that most students do not pay full tuition. Both schools offer financial aid to students based on need.

“There’s no question. We have to do something about cost,” Weiss said. “We have to control the tuition increases as much as we can. But we must also acknowledge that quality requires an investment.”

Both emphasized the return on investment: Chopp noted that 96 percent of Swarthmore alumni are employed. Weiss said Haverford boasts a similar employment rate.

“We need a cadre of people that can take this breadth of knowledge and critical and creative thinking, and connect them to the issues of the day,” Chopp said. “Our graduates will get jobs in these critical and creative fields.”


©2013 The Philadelphia Inquirer

Visit The Philadelphia Inquirer at

Distributed by MCT Information Services


Topics: t000002776,t000049144

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Attorney general sues 2 Minn. colleges ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's attorney general has filed a lawsuit against two colleges, accusing the schools of misleading criminal justice students about their ability to land a job in their field and about transferring credits to other instit

    July 22, 2014

  • sniper wife pic Jurors start considering Ventura case ST. PAUL — An attorney for Jesse Ventura asked a federal jury Tuesday to award the former Minnesota governor millions of dollars in damages for what he claimed is a lie in a memoir by the late military sniper Chris Kyle. Ventura testified during the

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Target debuts shopping app "In a Snap" will recognize images

    July 22, 2014

  • Feds to monitor Newark police Probe found pattern of unconstitutional policing

    July 22, 2014

  • Thousands without power due to storms MCGREGOR (AP) — Thousands of Minnesotans are without electricity after powerful storms moved through central and northeastern Minnesota. Strong winds of 50 to 70 mph knocked down trees and power lines overnight Monday. Minnesota Power and Lake Count

    July 22, 2014

  • Ellison urges Minn. to aid Central American minors ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota congressman is leading efforts to bring more unaccompanied children fleeing Central America to the state. But, immigration advocates and nonprofit groups that serve refugees are concerned Minnesota might not be abl

    July 22, 2014

  • Detroit retirees back pension cuts by a landslide DETROIT (AP) — A year after filing for bankruptcy, Detroit is building momentum to get out, especially after workers and retirees voted in favor of major pension changes just a few weeks before a judge holds a crucial trial that could end the largest

    July 22, 2014

  • Closings set in Ventura's suit over sniper's book ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Closing arguments are set in former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura's defamation lawsuit against the estate of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle. The case is expected to go to the federal jury in St. Paul after lawyers for both

    July 22, 2014

  • American Jews, other 'lone soldiers' serve Israel The two Americans killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip followed in the footsteps of scores of Jews from around the world who have volunteered to fight for Israel. Israel calls them the lone soldiers: They are men and women in the prime of their live

    July 22, 2014

  • 9 TC Rainbow stores to close Supermarkets to lose in Cottage Grove, Shoreview, Inver Grove Heights, Apple Valley, Blaine, Bloomington, Coon Rapids, Maple Grove and Savage

    July 21, 2014