The Yale College term bill will surpass $50,000 for the first time next year.
The charges to students, which include tuition, room and board, will total $52,700. The new bill represents a $2,900, or 5.8 percent, increase over the bill for the current year, according to a Monday press release. University President Richard Levin said the increase will help improve the University’s finances by narrowing a $68 million budget deficit for the next academic year.
“We still have a budget gap to close,” Levin said. “We’ve been the most restrained school in the Ivy League over the last 17 or 18 years.”
The increase marks the University’s move toward increasing revenue instead of only cutting costs to deal with budget shortfalls, Levin said.
The bill goes up every year, but its growth rate this time is higher than last year’s 4.8 percent. But Levin said that because Yale has had lower tuition and fees than its Ivy League peers for most of the last two decades, the University’s total undergraduate cost is still in line with the prices of other members of the Ancient Eight.
Princeton announced Jan. 24 that it will increase its fee package by only 1 percent in the 2011-’12 year, to $49,069 — its lowest increase in 45 years. Princeton Provost Christopher Eisgruber said in a press release that the small increase is due to several factors, including low inflation, strong endowment performance and high alumni giving.
While Princeton’s increase may be the lowest of the year, expert Sandy Baum said Yale’s may be on the higher end. Baum, an economist at Skidmore College and a senior analyst on tuition and financial aid for the College Board, called Yale’s increase “not a small jump.”
“Since there’s not much inflation in the economy, it’s actually a relatively large increase,” Baum said. “I’m sure there will be some who raise their tuition more than that but there will be many who raise it by less.”
Most schools have yet to release their tuition and fee rates for the upcoming year, Baum said, so it is still too early to put the increase in context.
When asked whether there would be any fallout from Yale’s total fees’ surpassing the $50,000 psychological barrier, Baum said she does not think the increase would have any significant effects.
“It’s been two years since schools started passing that barrier,” Baum said. “I think at this point enough schools have passed $50,000 so it doesn’t really matter.”
Baum said she does not think the increase would dissuade any students from choosing to attend Yale, adding that the scale of Yale’s financial aid program softens the impact of tuition and fee increases. Because of this, she said, such an increase at Yale has less of an effect than it would at a school with a less extensive financial aid program.
For students on financial aid at Yale — currently 57 percent of undergraduates — the increases in tuition and fees will be matched by increases in scholarship awards, Provost Peter Salovey said in the Monday statement.
Total scholarship funding will increase to $117 million, and students will receive full scholarships if their families earn under $65,000 a year, as opposed to a $60,000 cut-off this year.
“These measured increases help us preserve both the extraordinary quality of a Yale College education and a far-reaching financial aid commitment matched by few other institutions,” Salovey said.
The tuition package is set by the Provost’s Office and was approved at the Yale Corporation’s last meeting in December.
Correction: February 8, 2011
An earlier version of this article contained several errors. The tuition and fees increase reported for Columbia University was instead the increase for Columbia College in Chicago, Ill. Columbia University has yet to release its tuition and fees for the 2011-’12 year.