University raises tuition 5 percent

The term bill for Yale College will increase five percent for the 2004-05 academic year to $38,850, University President Richard Levin said Thursday.

The percentage increase in the term bill, which is the total cost of tuition and room and board, represents the largest jump of Levin’s presidency. Levin said the move was necessary to keep Yale’s “competitive position” and because of a projected $30 million dollar budget deficit in the 2004-05 fiscal year.

Yale’s term bill rose 5.9 percent in 1993.

“We’ve [had] the lowest percentage increase [among our peers] for nine years,” Levin said. “We expect this will still be either ninth or 10th against the schools we benchmark against.”

The cost of attending Yale increased 4.6 percent last year and 3.9 percent in 2002-03. The term bill for the 2003-04 academic year is $37,000.

Tuition, the largest part of the bill, will increase to $29,820, up from $28,400. The charge for room and board will grow to $9,030 from $8,600. Both represent five percent increases.

While the term bill is growing, the University intends to offer more financial aid to students in need of it, Levin said. He said the full cost of the increased tuition will be covered by grant funds.

“So you’ve got essentially 40 percent of the students [for whom] the University is swallowing the whole increase,” Levin said. “We’ll continue to make every effort to make Yale accessible for people who have financial need, both domestically and internationally.”

Levin said the increase in financial aid will be covered almost entirely by the endowment, with the remainder coming from term bills of students who are not on financial aid.

According to the 2003 Yale Endowment Report, net tuition, room and board was the fourth largest source to fund the University’s operating expenses in the 2002-03 fiscal year, providing 14 percent of the total. Levin said Yale gains perhaps $1 million per percentage point increase in the term bill.

Of the other Ivy League universities, only two — Princeton and Cornell — have already announced their rates for next year.

According to a Princeton press release, their total term bill charges for 2004-05 will be $38,297, up 4.5 percent from this year’s rate. Tuition will grow 4.8 percent to $29,910, the cost of rooming will increase five percent to $4,315 and board will grow 1.8 percent to $4,072.

Cornell News Service News Director Linda Grace-Kobas said the average cost for students attending Cornell’s endowed colleges — those not directly funded by the state of New York — will be $40,049 next year. Tuition for the endowed colleges will grow 4.8 percent to $30,000, rooming will increase 3.5 percent to $5,874, and the meal plan will be $4,008, up four percent.

University officials said various factors drove them to increase their term bills.

“The last couple of years we’ve had a weakened economy and due to that there’s been some uncontrollable expenses that we’ve incurred,” Princeton spokeswoman Patricia Allen said.

Allen said one of the hardest hits has been higher energy costs.

Grace-Kobas said the increase was partially due to “significantly declining state appropriations,” decreases in endowment payments, and “increasing costs in maintaining excellence, particularly in the technology area.”

Jennifer Topiel, a spokesperson for the College Board, said the total cost for four-year private colleges rose an average of 5.7 percent between 2002-03 and 2003-04. Topiel said information was not available yet for the 2004-05 academic year.

Woodbridge Hall houses the office of Yale President Richard Levin, who announced on Thursday a Yale College tuition increase of 5 percent for next year —  the largest increase during Levin’s presidency.
Cody Dashiell-Earp
Woodbridge Hall houses the office of Yale President Richard Levin, who announced on Thursday a Yale College tuition increase of 5 percent for next year — the largest increase during Levin’s presidency.

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