Yale tuition for the 2004-2005 academic year comes to $29,820. Room and board costs $9,030. And many students are charged an additional $1,272 for hospitalization coverage.
You’d think it would stop there.
But students’ loving first strolls down the bookstore aisles — their first opportunity to embrace Yale’s academic richness — typically ends in shock. Sticker shock.
Books cost $60 for French 150, $120 for freshman biology, $240 for Music 209. Woe unto he who has yet to discover bursar billing.
But few feel the economic crush quite as intensely as junior architecture majors.
While architecture has an impressive reputation as a selective and challenging course of study, choosing to major in it can hurt a student’s wallet more than his or her GPA.
In some cases, the materials for studio classes can amount to well over $1,000.
Senior architecture major Sara Maria Cardoza ’05 said she spent over $1,500 her junior year. Although she acknowledged she probably spent more than her classmates, she said the final spending total depends on how elaborate a project each individual wants to create. For her, spending less was not an option. “The quality would just not be as good,” she said.
But Cardoza had to pay for her own supplies, and took on two jobs last year in order to buy them.
The financial costs of junior studio seminars (ARCH 249a and 250a-251b) fall into two categories: general supplies and project-specific materials. At the start of the semester, every student receives a list of the equipment required for the year, which includes lamps, rulers, protractors, mattes and slide rules.
Stuart McNay ’05 contested the necessity of spending well over $1,000 on architecture supplies.
“There are some students who go overboard and buy the most expensive materials to try to put together the most impressive project, but it just doesn’t work,” he said in an e-mail. “There is no substitute for quality ideas.”
For Tommy Pao ’05, the cost has been a nuisance but not an obstacle. He agreed that spending money is, unfortunately, critical to a successful project.
“Architecture is about craft,” Pao said. “Everyone has a certain appreciation for a [well-made] project.”
Of course, another option would be to choose another major and reallocate the $1,500. Consider this: For that much money, one could take the course “Crime and Punishment” seven and a half times or, better yet, buy 187 boxes of spicy tuna sushi at Gourmet Heaven.