Yale and Princeton Limit Tuition Hike

While Harvard recently made waves by expanding its financial aid program to include families who make up to $180,000 per year, its rivals have also taken steps to contain costs for students not receiving financial assistance.

Yale University and Princeton University both recently announced that tuition and other student fees will rise significantly less for the coming academic year than they have in previous years, and that the increases will be tied to projected inflation rates.

Princeton will raise student fees by 3.9 percent for the 2008-2009 academic year, the lowest percentage increase since 2001-2002, the university announced late last month. Undergraduate fees at Princeton will rise from $43,980 to $45,695.

“We concluded that this increase was likely to be less than or equal to the average rate of increase in the incomes of tuition-paying families at Princeton,” said the university’s provost, Christopher L. Eisgruber, in a statement.

Princeton also approved an almost seven percent boost in its undergraduate financial aid budget in an attempt to ensure that the fee hike would not affect students who receive scholarship funds.

Last year, Princeton froze tuition costs, but overall student fees climbed by 4.2 percent, according to the Daily Princetonian.

Yale’s lower tuition hike was announced in mid-January as part of its expanded financial aid program.

The 2.2 percent rise in Yale tuition, room, and board is tied to projected consumer price inflation and will be “the lowest increase in recent memory,” according to the Yale Daily News.

Fees for Yale undergraduates have increased by an average of five percent over the past three years, the Daily News reported.

The small increase at Yale comes after the university announced a major expansion in financial aid last month that was designed to provide additional assistance to families with incomes of up to $200,000.

Harvard is expected to announce tuition and fees for the 2008-2009 academic year in a mid-March, according to Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) spokesman Robert P. Mitchell.

“The [FAS] dean goes to the governing boards and makes a recommendation, and they have to authorize it,” Mitchell said yesterday.

Last year, the cost of attending Harvard—including room, board, and student services fees—grew by 4.5 percent to $45,620.

Total costs at private, four-year universities for this academic year rose on average by 5.9 percent over last year, according to the College Board.

—Staff writer Alexandra Perloff-Giles can be reached at aperloff@fas.harvard.edu.