January 24, 2005

Tuition Increases Across C.U.

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The Board of Trustees approved a 4.3 percent tuition increase for the endowed colleges and an 8.3 percent tuition increase for the contract colleges.

The hike, which was decided at a meeting in New York City this weekend, raises tuition for the endowed colleges from $30,000 to $31,300 and from $15,870 to $17,200 for New York State residents enrolled the contract colleges for the 2005-2006 academic year.

Before the tuition increases for the contract colleges can be finalized, University administrators will meet with the trustees of the State University of New York.

“Cornell continues to face significant financial pressure from declining state appropriations, rising labor and utilities costs, and the increasing costs of ensuring academic excellence in a competitive environment,” stated Provost Biddy Martin in a press release.

Undergraduate housing rates were raised by 3.5 percent to an average of $6,080 for a double room, while the cost of a full-plan dining contract was increased by 4 percent to $4,170.

The professional schools will also see a tuition increase across the board.

Tuition for the Johnson Graduate School of Management will increase by 5.7 percent to $36,350. The law school will see a 7 percent increase for entering students to $37,750 and a 4.9 percent increase for second-year and third-year students.

The tuition for College of Veterinary Medicine was increased by 7.3 percent to $22,200, and by 8.6 percent to $31,500 for non-resident students.

Jackie Koppell ’05, student-elected trustee, pointed out that the Board does not make such decisions lightly.

“The Board is aware that any tuition increase is painful for students. … The hope is that financial aid will be adjusted accordingly,” she said.

Cornell’s financial aid policy has come under pressure in recent months since Harvard and Princeton both announced marked increase in aid packages and agreed to forgive student loans, but Koppell said she doesn’t think this tuition hike in particular will change prospective students’ decisions as to whether or not to come to Cornell.

“What matters when students make the choice [about whether to come to Cornell] is the quality of instruction and the type of instruction,” said Tommy Bruce, vice president for communications and media relations.

“We continue to try to keep tuition increases as low as possible; and we remain committed to our longstanding need-blind admissions policy and will continue to assist students and families in financial need by appropriately adjusting our institutional student financial-aid allocations,” Martin stated.

Koppell explained that while the tuition increase may seem like a lot of money, it is in fact less than last year’s increase, when tuition for the endowed colleges was raised by 4.8 percent and by 9.4 percent for state residents in the contract colleges.

“Each year, at almost all universities, tuition is up for discussion. There’s a report given on what is needed for the good of the University and the operating budget,” she added.

According to Bruce, tuition increases are driven by costs, and “none of the other initiatives play into how tuition is structured.”

Student fees, which are decided by the Student Assembly and the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, were not increased for the 2005-2006 academic year.

Archived article by Freda Ready
Sun Managing Editor