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Students Will Face 4.1 Percent Tuition Increase

By Georgia N. Alexakis

The cost of attending Harvard just got a bit higher.

Undergraduates will face a 4.1 percent increase in the 1997-1998 school year, raising the overall costs from the current $28,896 to just over $30,000.

Next year's total charges will be $30,080, which includes $20,600 for tuition, $5,344 for room and student services, and $3,470 for board.

The student health fee will be $666.

The 4.1 percent increase represents the smallest percentage increase in almost 30 years.

"It has been my policy to lower the tuition increase steadily year by year rather than allow the increases to bounce up and down unpredictably," said Jeremy R. Knowles, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

The overall term bill for the 1996-1997 academic year was a 4.8 percent increase from the previous year.

That increase was less than the 5.1 percent increase in total costs for the 1995-1996 school year.

"If you look at recent years, that's going in the right direction," said Alex Huppe, University spokesperson. "This is at the same time that our costs are increasing."

University costs increased by 5.5 percent during the 1995-1996 fiscal year, according to Knowles' annual budget letter, presented to the Faculty in January.

"Tuition rises because our expenses rise," said Knowles, adding that tuition represents more than 60 percent of the Faculty's unrestricted income.

Most of the University's costs are "human costs" such as salaries and benefits, said Huppe.

"Those costs are not stagnant, and Harvard has to remain competitive," said Huppe. "We need to keep the best Faculty, but at the same time, we need to keep tuition down and the budget balanced. Harvard has been successful at all three."

Despite the increased costs, Knowles said he does not expect a drop in applications for admission or in the number of students receiving financial aid.

"We continue to follow need-blind admissions scrupulously and then to provide aid to everyone admitted who needs it," he said. "We shall continue our policy of need-based aid for every student who comes to Harvard."

Harvard is not alone in its decision to raise costs. Other Ivy League schools have announced comparable increases.

Princeton will increase costs to $29,435 next year, a 3.9 percent increase. Yale undergraduates will experience a 3.7 percent increase, bringing their total costs to $29,950.

Dartmouth recently announced a 4.5 percent increase, raising tuition, fees, and room and board to $29,507, and Brown's recent 4.3 percent increase brings its total cost for next year to $29,900.

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