Dear Editor, I would like to provide some additional information for the graphic that was included in last week’s article about the Costa Rica Center. It mentions the cost to Whitworth per CRC student as $41,980. A closer reading of the task force report would reveal that this figure includes costs related to the purchase of the campus and the maintenance of the campus buildings. The task force states, “Clearly, it cost Whitworth more to run the CRC program due to the substantial investment of capital assets in Costa Rica and the cost to maintain those assets” (p. 15). As far as I know, this is the only program at Whitworth in which buildings are considered as part of the cost per student. Just imagine if the cost of our new science building were charged to our science majors on a cost per student basis. Generally, universities have capital campaigns that are designed to pay for the buildings. If we had such a campaign and raised $3,000,000 for the CRC, the cost per student for a semester would be quite comparable to Whitworth’s other semester programs. If we eliminate these capital investment charges, the task force has calculated that the average cost per CRC student is between $3,910 and $4,718 (p. 12). Given that the enrollment numbers at the CRC have been significantly higher these last two years, the cost per student has been substantially lower.
I am fully aware that the CRC campus will be put up for sale. Nevertheless, I provide this information for the sake of accuracy.