Tuition rate increase lowest in 34 years

By Ruth Stevens

Princeton NJ -- Undergraduate tuition and fees at Princeton will rise by 3 percent next year -- the lowest rate of increase in 34 years.

The tuition increase was part of an operating budget of nearly $760 million adopted Jan. 27 by the Board of Trustees for 2001-02.

The low tuition rate increase, along with changes in undergraduate financial aid also approved Jan. 27 by the board, is intended to help ensure that prospective students and their families are better able to afford a Princeton education, according to President Shapiro.

"For the last decade, we have been deeply committed to reducing the rate of increase in tuition and fees in an attempt to align those increases more closely with the rate of growth in median family income," he said. "This effort, combined with our sweeping improvements in financial aid, makes a Princeton education truly affordable to all students."

Princeton's undergraduate charges will increase to $33,613 next year. Tuition will be $26,160, an increase of 2.87 percent; room will be $3,596, an increase of 5 percent; and board will be $3,857, an increase of 2 percent.

Graduate tuition will increase by 2.87 percent to $26,160. Room and board charges will vary according to graduate students' housing and dining plans, but will increase at rates similar to those for undergraduates.

The trustees acted on budget recommendations from Shapiro, based on the recommendations of the Priorities Committee of the Council of the Princeton University Community. The committee, which is composed of faculty, staff and students and chaired by Provost Jeremiah Ostriker, has served as the mechanism for recommending fiscal and programmatic priorities for more than three decades.

In its report to Shapiro this year, the committee noted that the rate of increase in undergraduate tuition and fees is lower than the recommended increase in the salary pools for faculty and staff. "It is, financially, extremely difficult to continue to reduce tuition growth, one of our primary sources of income, below the rate of growth of salaries, our primary expense item," the report stated. "Thus, it is unlikely that we will be able to continue this trend for much longer."

Other initiatives

During its review of the operating budget, the committee evaluated requests for growth or changes in existing programs as well as new initiatives. Some of those requests are being funded this year through an increase in endowment income spending.

In addition, the committee determined that it could recommend funding several other requests through approximately $1.9 million available in the 2001-02 operating budget. Those initiatives, also approved by the trustees, will:

• Significantly improve the salary pools for faculty and staff.

• Add positions to the teaching budget to expand third-semester language courses in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and provide one-semester merit-based sabbatical leaves for senior lecturers.

• Provide grants for graduate student recruitment efforts to departments that do not have adequate budgets for that purpose.

• Support a variety of ongoing and new activities in the Graduate School and expand services available to graduate students through the Office of Career Services.

• Strengthen the Office of Career Services.

• Support new and existing programs in the Office of the Vice President for Campus Life.

• Improve the maintenance of existing and newly renovated buildings and fund the cleaning of dormitories one day during the weekend.

• Expand the dormitory assistant program, a pilot program in Scully and Patton dormitories under which upperclass students aid in building management.

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Tuition rate increase lowest in 34 years

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