When John R.F. Breen '80 heard Dean Rosovsky's proposal to raise tuition, room and board fees to $7000 next year he said, "They can jack the price up to $15,000. My parents will pay anything for the name 'Harvard.'"
Breen added that his family is "not rich by any stretch of the imagination." but is willing to cut costs in other ways to finance his education.
The anticipated $475 increase, which the Corporation will vote on in the next few weeks, seems unfair, Breen said.
"Harvard can get whatever it asks for. I guess there is an inelastic demand for Harvard educations." Breen, who is currently enrolled in Economics 10, "Principles of Economics," concluded.
A series of interviews conducted yesterday indicated that Breen's reaction to the proposed increase is not uncommon. Most students questioned said they are displeased by the rising costs but not surprised by Monday's announcement.
"I read that Harvard has a $1 million surplus," one student said. The University has "enough money not to keep charging more," he said, adding that the rate of the increase seems disproportionately high compared to the rate of inflation.
John A. Downer '79 said yesterday continued price hikes could prevent students from applying here, creating a less heterogenous student body.
If Harvard becomes "a school which caters to the rich, it will lose diversity that can't be measured in economic terms," Downer said, adding that his own family is in a high enough income bracket to absorb the increase.
Up Your Middle-Class
The rising costs "disgust me," James S. Barlow '79, said yesterday. Barlow said he worries about next year when his younger brother enters Harvard. Paying for both students will absorb about half the family's income unless they qualify for financial aid, Barlow said.
Earlier this week, Seamus R. Malin '62, director of financial aid, said students financial needs would be reviewed on a case by case basis. Most students currently on financial aid will receive supplementary funding next year and wages in self-help job will go up, he said.
Henry A. Singer '80 said he is used to tuition hikes. "My private school tuition was always going up. But my father won't be too pleased. He's already shelling out money for four kids in college and a fifth in private high school."