While re-examining our core values, The "Great" Debate identified a new core value to address-the ability to offer an affordable, but highcaliber education.
   "The cost of a Rose-Hulman education is of the utmost concern. How we deal with that will determine our future," says Former Alumni Trustee Representative Jeff Burgan (CHE, 1977). "That was a repeated issue raised as I spoke with alumni from every age group and location. The cost of our education has increased at a greater rate of inflation than the starting salaries of our graduates," he continues.
   Addressing this issue, President Robert A. Coons states, "A personalized, cutting-edge technology education is a very expensive proposition. We invest more than one million dollars annually just to ensure we have state-of-the-art labs."
   He continues, "Our quest is always to be equipped with technology that's ahead of most industries-so our graduates have an edge when faced with the demands of the real world."
   Clearly, sacrificing our high standards will not be the answer. Coons points out two interrelated factors when addressing affordability and the institute's current financial model: our endowment dollars per student are not nearly as high as our competitors and other private premier schools; and Rose-Hulman has not had a comprehensive fundraising effort for nearly a decade. This lack of adequate resources has had an impact on scholarships and technology enhancements.
   "Many top schools guarantee that they will meet the demonstrated financial need of all their students," explains Coons. "While we compete academically for students that may ultimately attend any of those fine institutions, we can't currently compete with their endowment resources."