The approved 3.75 percent increase in tuition will help address the rising operating costs of the University, according to Barbara Knuth, senior vice provost and dean of the graduate school. Among the areas covered with the increased undergraduate tuition will be faculty and staff salaries and benefits, academic program investments and facilities maintenance and utilities, according to Knuth. Additionally, she said the University aims to “realize sufficient tuition revenue to sustain the quality and value of a Cornell education” and “provide access to education for deserving students regardless of their ability to pay” when setting to yearly tuition rates. “If we did not continue to invest in our people, programs and facilities, the quality of a Cornell education would quickly degrade,” Knuth said. Provost Michael Kotlikoff announced last Thursday that undergraduate tuition will rise 3.75 percent in the 2016-17 academic year.