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February 17, 2016

Approved Tuition Increase Emblematic of Larger Trend

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Provost Michael Kotlikoff announced at a Student Assembly meeting last Thursday that Cornellians will see a nearly four percent rise in tuition in the 2016-17 academic year.

Kotlikoff said both endowed and contract non-resident tuition would rise 3.75 percent in coming months. Campus housing and dining costs will also increase by two percent, according to the provost.

Kotlikoff emphasized that the proposed 2016-2017 tuition represents the lowest percentage increase for the endowed tuition rate since 1965, adding that the cost of tuition has decreased for low-income families in recent years.   

“This is not something you hear in the paper often and is not apparent to many people, but in fact, the price of education has come down dramatically for the lowest three family income quintiles for applying students,” he said.

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In the past, administrators have cited increases in the cost of room, board and mandatory fees for endowed college and out-of-state contract college students to justify tuition increases.

In 2015, endowed college and out-of-state contract students experienced a three-percent increase in tuition, room, board and mandatory fees. Undergraduate tuition increased $1,830, compared with $1,920 last year, for all undergraduates last year.

“Keeping the rise in tuition to below four percent for most undergraduates reflects our best efforts to be fiscally responsible while assuring a rich and complex undergraduate education and experience,” said former provost Harry Katz said last year.

In the 2014-15 academic year, the Board of Trustees approved an across-the-board 3.26 percent increase in the cost of attendance, according to the University.

In the 2013-14 academic year, there was a 3.4 percent increase — equivalent to a  $1,945 hike in tuition cost compared to the previous year. In 2012, tuition showed an increase of $1,860 for all undergraduate students.

Kotlikoff assured students at the S.A. meeting that Cornell’s administrators will continue in its commitment to bolstering financial aid and investing in affordable education, despite the regular rise in tuition.