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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Tuition, room & board up 4.5%

Published: March 31, 2006
Section: News

Tuition for the next academic year will increase by 4.5%, as will the cost of room and board, according to Acting Associate Vice President for Budget and Planning John Richard.

These increases were approved by the full Board of Trustees at their board meeting Mar. 23.

This increase exceeds that of national inflation, which went up by 3.4% last year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the increase comes in well below the national average increase for educational institutions, which was 7.1% for the 2006 fiscal year.

Several colleges nationwide had larger increases this year, including Boston College (6.6%), California Institute of Technology (8.4%), Case Western University (12.1%) and Johns Hopkins University (7.2%). This year's increases at Brandeis is smaller than last year's 4.55% increase, as well as the dramatic increase of 6.1% from the 2003-2004 fiscal year.

This upcoming year's 4.5% increase in housing costs will vary from dorm to dorm, and specifics should be available within the next couple weeks. The overall average increase for all housing will be 4.5%, but it is expected that it may go as low as 3% or as high as 5% for some residences.

According to Richard, costs of colleges have risen beyond inflation due to far higher energy costs, and increasing insurance, faculty, and maintenance rates. Reasons cited for Brandeis' increases coming in lower than those of many other national universities include investments made with the endowment progressing unusually well, large alumni donations made to the university and a strong energy savings program. Also, Brandeis has a relatively high starting tuition, so charges tend to come in within the budget, mitigating the need for larger increases.

The energy savings program saved approximately $500,000 dollars this year, and will save an estimated $1.1 million dollars next year, according to Richard.

We're doing everything we can to mitigate the impact on our students through tuition changes, said Richard.

When asked about her thoughts on the upcoming increases in tuition, Senior Vice President for Students and Enrollment Jean Eddy said I'd love if we didn't have to raise tuition, but I'm a realist, and with all the major things going on campus, I realize this increase is needed.

No students were happy about the changes, but there was a general appreciation of the fact that Brandeis came in under then national average. At least it's not as bad as everybody else, said one Sarah Jacobs '09.

Another student, Ben Kramer '09 stated Overall cost is too great already…the fact is people should have an equal chance at education, and every increase just makes it harder for people who already can't afford it.