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Tuition Rising (Yet Again)

Amid the news of the Skorton appointment, students and parents alike may have missed out on the announcement that tuition is set to rise yet again:

the University Board of Trustees approved a 4.8 percent tuition increase during the 2006-07 school year for the endowed colleges last weekend. The approved measures also include a five percent increase for New York State residents and non-residents who are first through third year students and a 5.2 percent increase for non-resident fourth year students.
Although the Sun article doesn't mention any dollar signs, this means an $868 increase for the in-state contract colleges and a whopping $1510 increase for the endowed undergraduate units.

So what does the Skorton appointment mean for parents' wallets and students' future indebtedness? Will Cornell's 12th president turn out to be a champion of a reasonably-priced education, or will he divert the bulk of his attention to other matters? Some preliminary evidence suggests that he will care about rising tuition...

From a Q & A from Iowa's 'Prarent Times':

As I pledged to parents and students, I want to do my part to control the rate of rise and predictability of tuition in my interaction with the Regents, who set tuition. The more stable the state appropriations, the more stable the tuition. With the present state budget problems, this is a very difficult time for everybody.

And from the Des Moines Registrar:

A third prong of the plan is to hold down tuition increases so that costs don't rise faster than inflation, as measured by a higher education price index.


At the University of Iowa, "we are personally committed and will be for the long haul to this plan," said President David Skorton.

Now of course, no university president in their right mind would stand in favor of the increasing cost of tuition. But it is one thing to walk the walk, and another thing to talk the talk. Let's hope that Skorton keeps the skyrocketing price of tuition in mind as he makes the transition from a public environment to a private university.

When I was a freshman in ILR in 2001, I paid $12,062 for a full year of courses on East Hill. I took twelve courses that year, and thought that the effective price of $1,000 per course was a very good deal. (Studying as an in-state student in one of the contract colleges at Cornell is one of the best deals in higher education.) If I was to enter Cornell in 2006, I would be paying over 50% more in tuition -- $18,236 -- not to mention books, room, board, and travel expenses. Does a 50% increase in tuition over the course of five years sound reasonable to anyone?

Matthew Nagowski | Posted on January 23, 2006 (#)

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