New York Magazine gave Middlebury a sassy shout-out in the “Neighborhood News” round-up from their November 28, 2011 issue. The weekly feature highlights strange and out of the ordinary news stories from the five boroughs.
Sure, college-age kids running around on broomsticks and tackling each other to the ground playing a once-fictional game and winning an international competition for the fifth year in a row is newsworthy. But was it necessary to include the cost of tuition? Simply put, no.
NYMag’s intent was to highlight the absurdity of the fact that some Middlebury students pay nauseating sums of money to play a game ripped from the pages of a fictional series. Listing the College’s yearly cost was inappropriate and, in some ways, factually incorrect. The “tuition” that the magazine lists is our comprehensive fee, which includes the meal plan (or lack thereof) and room and board.
New York Magazine made the same error in classifying the College’s yearly fee that countless other news sources have made. Middlebury is regularly listed as one of the top 10 most expensive colleges in the country, ranked alongside schools that have separate meal plans and housing fees. In that regard, the College’s fee is actually less expensive than many other schools.
While Middlebury’s yearly comprehensive fee is expensive (I don’t think anyone would argue otherwise), we are frequently wrongly classified as being exorbitantly pricey. Our comprehensive fee is so high for a good reason — we have local, environmentally friendly, edible dining hall food (that alone is more than most other schools can say), great facilities and professors, and we are one of the best liberal art schools in the nation.
In citing our comprehensive fee in “Neighborhood News,” New York Magazine aimed to make a point, and a sassy one at that. And while their sass came across loud and clear, they could have done so without listing the tuition price. Or, if they were so insistent on including some monetary reference point, they could have at least gotten the title correct. It’s a comprehensive fee, not a yearly tuition.