Ivy League increases tuition

In an attempt to fill financial gaps, every Ivy League University that has announced its term bill for the 2004-2005 school year reported an increase in tuition costs.

Term bills released by the institutions show some schools’ tuition figures approach — and, in the case of Cornell University, exceed — $40,000. Yale announced last month that the increase in next year’s term bill from $37,000 to $38,850 will be the largest of its kind since the beginning of Yale President Richard Levin’s 10 year tenure.

Compared with percentage increases at Brown University, Cornell University, Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania, Yale has the highest term bill percentage increase — 5 percent. Levin attributed the increase to the $30 million deficit facing the University.

While Princeton’s tuition is lower than Yale’s for the 2004-2005 school year, Levin said Yale remains one of the least expensive colleges in the Ivy League.

Princeton’s tuition is the lowest of the schools who have posted their term bills for next year. With a 4.5 percent increase, the university’s 2004-2005 term bill will be $38,297.

At the other end of the spectrum from Princeton is Cornell. The cost for students attending the private schools at Cornell is currently $40,274. Next year the tuition will increase to $42,099 — the highest of the Ivies who have posted their projected costs.

On Friday, the University of Pennsylvania’s Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees approved a tuition cost of $39,634 for the 2004-2005 school year. This rise represents a 4.4 percent increase from the current tuition of $37,960.

Frank Claus, Associate Vice President for Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, said he attributes the tuition increase to the rising costs of staff salaries and health care.

“Health care and other benefits are going through the ceiling,” Claus said. “The single biggest cost of the University is the staff.”

Penn officials do not foresee any negative impact of the increase, Claus said.

Claus said it is important for Penn, as it is for Yale, to remain competitive among other Ivy League institutions.

“I think among the schools with whom we compete, we’re in line with the increases that have been announced,” Claus said.

While Brown University increased its tuition by a greater percentage than Penn, a student attending Brown will have to pay more for his schooling than a student at Penn. Brown will see a 4.9 percent increase in its term bill for the upcoming school year, with an education costing $39,808 per year.

Next year, Yale will be one of the least expensive colleges in the Ivy League, but 10 years ago, the University’s term bill was the most expensive of its Ivy League peers.

“[Yale has] tied for the lowest [term bill] in eight or nine of the 10 years [I have been president],” Levin said.

It is likely that tuitions will continue to rise in the near future as has been the recent trend, Levin said. But Claus said he hopes for an end to the rising costs for educations he said were “priceless.”

“Is there a limit? I hope there is,” Claus said. “It doesn’t seem like there’s an end.”

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