2009–2010 Tuition Rises 3.75 Percent
BU strives to balance operating costs, financial aid needs
Tuition and room and board at Boston University will rise 3.75 percent, to $49,758, in the 2009-2010 academic year, BU President Robert A. Brown announced last week. The change represents the University’s lowest percentage increase in tuition in 40 years, Brown said, and reflects the administration’s effort to respond to increased financial need while maintaining the quality of programs.
“Tuition income directly impacts our resources for financial aid and our academic programs,” Brown said in a letter to parents.
“During the fall semester, we funded need-based appeals totaling $1.5 million to undergraduates whose financial circumstances had changed. I take this as a bellwether of things to come.”
The tuition rate has been set at $37,910 — up $1,370 from the current year — and room and board at $11,848, a rise of $430. The costs are comparable to many of BU’s peer institutions, such as MIT ($37,510), Northwestern ($38,088), and Washington University ($37,800), and the percentage change is less than the 2010 increases at colleges such as Brandeis, Dartmouth, and Emory.
While capital expenditures and rising utility costs are often a factor in calculating tuition and housing costs, this year’s focus is meeting the increased financial aid requirements of both the current and incoming students. BU is providing $168 million in undergraduate financial aid in the current budget; most of that money comes out of the operating budget, as opposed to endowment income or state appropriations.
The incoming freshman class exhibits even greater financial need: 65 percent of applicants indicate they would apply for aid, up from 61 percent last year, and the average need level is up 5 percent, to approximately $25,000 per student. To meet the demand, the University began implementing cost-cutting measures in October, including a hiring freeze, a salary freeze for the University’s senior leadership and highest-paid staff, an administrative reorganization, and a delay on some capital projects.
Jessica Ullian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Comments