March 26, 2002

Tuition Increases Seen Across Ivies

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Students must pay more money to receive an Ivy League education for the academic year 2002-03, though Cornellians will shell out less money than most of their peers at other Ivy institutions.

Among the Ancient Eight schools that have reported next year’s expenses, Harvard University’s tuition and fees will increase by the largest dollar amount, while Yale University’s charges will increase by the smallest amount. Columbia University will not announce next year’s fees until June.

Tuition and fees for undergraduate and graduate students in Cornell’s endowed colleges — Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, and Hotel Administration — will rise by $1,300 to $27,270. Undergraduate students must also pay a mandatory activity fee of $124 next year, up from $92.

Compared to other Ivy schools, the total increase in the cost of attending Cornell’s undergraduate endowed colleges — which includes the activity fee — is the third largest, making the total cost fifth highest.

“Cornell remains committed to keeping tuition increases as low as possible, as well as to a policy of need-blind admission,” said President Hunter R. Rawlings III in a press release.

“For 2002-03, the cost of meeting our institutional priorities will cause expenditures to grow faster than the rate of inflation,” Rawlings added.

At its regular meeting on March 15, the Board of Trustees also approved a tuition increase for students in the contract (statutory) colleges.

In the undergraduate contract colleges, which receive New York State funding, tuition and fees will be $13,274 for residents and $23,624 for nonresidents, representing increases of 9.9 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively. Though the percentage increase is greater for residents, the total cost of tuition will rise more for nonresidents.

Non-veterinary graduate students in the contract colleges will pay $15,200, while veterinary graduate students will pay $15,600. New York State residents and nonresidents enrolled in the professional (DVM) program in the College of Veterinary Medicine will pay $18,200 and $24,500, respectively.

The increase in tuition for the contract graduate and professional schools is nine to ten percent for all students.

Undergraduate students in the contract colleges will still pay significantly less money than at the least expensive Ivy League school, Yale, which will charge its undergraduate students $27,130 in tuition and fees next year.

At $28,480, the cost of attending Brown University will be the highest among the Ivies.

Financial difficulties, which began this year and will probably last until next year, have caused these institutions to increase tuition.

Dartmouth College, for example, has kept tuition increases below 3.5 percent over the last four years, but will have to raise its charges by 4.6 percent for the 2002-03 academic year.

“The biggest single reason for this increase is the weak performance of our endowment, which had a zero percent return last year,” said Barry Scherr, provost at Dartmouth. “In fiscal year 2002, it’s likely to be zero again.”

Nevertheless, Scherr said he believes next year’s tuition hike represents a temporary aberration.

“Our goal is to keep tuition down, [and] we have just been temporarily hit by a difficult budgetary period,” Scherr said.

Top schools outside the Ivy League are also increasing the cost of an education. Stanford University, for instance, will increase its tuition by almost five percent.

Several of Cornell’s non-tuition sources of revenue, like those of other schools, probably will not increase next year.

“The payment for next year from the University endowment will be the same as it is for the current academic year,” said Henrik N. Dullea ’61, vice president for University relations, noting that the size of the endowment has dropped in recent years.

Dullea added, “the State of New York’s budget has been flat, and there is no indication that there will be an increase [in state aid] from New York,” even though Cornell is in the process of improving faculty salaries.

Though other land-grant schools in New York are in similar situations, the cost of an education at Cornell’s contract colleges remains greater than other land-grant schools.

“We’re much higher [in cost] than other in-state land grant schools because here, the students enrolled in contract colleges have the opportunity to go to endowed schools that are not subsidized,” Dullea said.

In these economic conditions, Cornell’s increased tuition will cover some of its operating costs.

“Given the recent demands on the New York State budget, Cornell can no longer depend so heavily on state funds to supplement the budget of its statutory colleges. Therefore, the financial situation of these colleges warrants the increase,” said student-elected trustee Leslie Barkemeyer ’03.

“I am satisfied that the [Board of Trustees] set a reasonable tuition,” Barkemeyer added.

Archived article by Peter Lin