The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) may revamp its tuition structure as one of several possible ways to combat an approaching squeeze in funds under the Reagan administration. Edward L. Keenan '57, dean of the GSAS, said this week.
The GSAS now charges the same tuition as the College ($6930 for 1981-82) for each of the first two years, a reduced tuition ($1750) for each of the next two years, and a "facilities fee" ($625) each year thereafter. The proposed change would institute a lower initial tuition, which would then remain the same every year a graduate student stayed at the GSAS, Keenan said.
A lower starting tuition rate would make it easier for students to begin graduate school in the next few years, when scholarship money will be unusually scarce. Keenan said. Determining graduate tuition independently from undergraduate would be logical, because the College considers parental income figures in setting its tuition, but graduate students are more likely to want to be financially independent, he added.
Any new tuition plan would aim to keep the total cost of getting a Ph.D. about the same, maybe by means of a cutoff point for tuition after a certain number of years, Keenan said. He added, "We wouldn't want to make students keep paying indefinitely."
Richard A. Kraus, associate dean of the administration of the GSAS, said yesterday that he has spoken with Robert H. Scott, associate dean of the Faculty of resource planning, about possible plans for the tuition redistribution, but has proposed nothing definite yet.
Kraus said, though, that he has discussed the general possibility of tuition redistribution with department chairmen "so that people won't be caught unawares," and he predicted "a lot of discussion of this very soon."
The idea of detaching graduate and undergraduate tuition is "an old one, but no one has ever worked out a concrete proposal," Keenan said.
The Faculty Council will almost certainly debate any such proposal, although Dean Rosovsky has the authority to make tuition changes without the council's approval. Keenan said. Rosovsky was unavailable for comment yesterday.
Tough Times Ahead
The GSAS is "bracing itself" for a period of severe financial difficulty for graduate education in general, stemming from the federal government's expected cutbacks in aid for education, Keenan said.
The cutbacks "require every university to carefully reevaluate its aid programs," Scott said yesterday. He added that the University has "no idea what changes we're going to make," and stressed the redistribution idea is only one possible plan.
Keenan predicted "the worst squeeze in living memory" for graduate education in the next few years. The GSAS can do little to cope with the cuts till more details of the Reagan budget become available, he said, adding. "Any tactic we use would have to be specific. When you're entering a storm, you batten down the hatches, but you don't start pumping till you know where you're leaking.