The Yale College term bill for the 2006-07 academic year will increase 5 percent to $43,050, according to a University press statement scheduled to be released today.
This year’s term bill increase is lower than last year’s increase, which was the highest since 1993. Yale Provost Andrew Hamilton said the factors considered in determining this year’s increase include inflation, the projected high price of fuel, the cost of college and departmental renovation and construction, improvements in the financial aid packages given to Yale students, and reductions in federal support for student aid and research. Several students said that while some increase is understandable, financial aid policies should also be expanded to relieve the added burden on families.
Last year’s term bill rose 5.5 percent to $41,000, while the bill increased 5 percent to $38,850 in 2004-05.
For the coming year, the cost of tuition will be $33,030, up from $31,460, and the charge for room and board will increase to $10,020 from $9,540.
Yale President Richard Levin said in a statement that revenues from the term bill and an increased financial aid budget will enable the University to provide an affordable education.
“Combined with resources from the endowment and other revenues, funding from the term bill will give Yale the capacity to provide the highest quality undergraduate education and extracurricular opportunities,” Levin said. “The undergraduate financial aid budget will rise according to students’ need, keeping Yale affordable for new and returning students.”
The bill revenue will help close a projected $25 million budget deficit. According to the 2005 Yale Endowment Report, the revenue funds 13 percent of the University’s operating budget, ranking fourth below endowment, grants and contracts, and medical services.
The financial aid budget for 2006-07 will be over $59 million, an increase of more than 8 percent from the 2005-06 year. Yale Director of Financial Aid Caesar Storlazzi said in an e-mail that the bill increase is reasonable given that the amount charged to students does not cover the full cost of their educations.
Yale economics professor Fabian Lange said in an e-mail that the cost of a Yale education is justified by the large returns college graduates, especially Yale graduates, receive for their education.
“Yale students earn a premium that can be attributed to receiving a degree from Yale,” Lange said. “The labor market returns to education have increased dramatically over the last 25 years, and this has substantially increased the demand for college degrees.”
Some students said the tuition increase seems excessive, especially since the added fees sum up during a four-year career.
“I don’t that it’s very fair, especially for students who come in thinking that’s a lot of money to pay,” Jessica Bian ’08 said. “I don’t see any justification for why Yale is so expensive.”
But others said the increase is understandable as long as Yale continues to expand its financial aid policy. Last spring, Yale pledged to fully fund the term bill for families with incomes of less than $45,000, but activists have been advocating for further changes. Their agenda includes a reduction of student self-help contributions and an end to the requirement that students on financial aid also complete work hours.
“Given these sort of tuition increases, it’s important to look at how affordability changes for these middle-income families that were not affected by the expansions in financial aid,” Undergraduate Organizing Committee member Nick Seaver ’07 said.
The 2006-07 academic year tuition for Harvard College, announced Friday, increased by 4.75 percent, bringing the term bill to $43,655 per student. Yale’s current tuition level ranks ninth among its 10 peer schools, which include Ivy League universities, the University of Chicago, Stanford and MIT, Hamilton said.