Undergraduates in the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering will notice a 5.3 percent increase in their bills for tuition, room and board for the upcoming 2007-2008 year.

The tuition will rise from $32,650 to $34,380 and the total cost for room and board will rise from $10,192 to $10,600. The overall cost to attend UR for those participating in the most popular board plan for the approaching academic year will rise from $42,842 to $44,980.

“Tuition increases are necessary to ensure that we can continue to provide the highest-quality programs and services for students,” Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of the College of Arts, Science and Engineering and Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences Peter Lennie said. “Part of the increase is needed to keep pace with normal cost increases (salaries, utilities, etc.), but we are also making improvements on our infrastructure… and our information technology resources.”

The tuition increase proposal begins with the College Deans’ original proposal. President Joel Seligman, Provost Charles Phelps and Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer Ronald Paprocki then review the proposal. The University’s trustees ultimately approves it. This year’s increase was approved by the Board of Trustees in their March meeting.

“The factors in this decision process include the budgetary needs of the College, the College’s position competitively with respect to its peers and, of course, concerns about affordability,” Paprocki said.

According to the letter to be sent out by Seligman to all undergraduates, the increase of 5.3 percent this year is low in comparison to that of previous years. For the 2005-06 school year, there was an 8.2 percent increase, and the rise was 6.9 percent for the current academic year.

“I was impressed in reviewing the tuition proposal from the College by the lower rate of increase than in previous years despite the new infrastructure expense of the Goergen Hall for Biomedical Engineering and Optics and ongoing efforts to improve the quality of teaching and the student experience,” Seligman said.

Seligman also makes note in his letter of a comparison of costs between UR and other schools in the University Athletic Association, which include Brandeis, Carnegie Mellon, Emory, Case Western, Chicago, NYU and Washington University. The average rise in tuition for these “peers” was 6.4 percent in 2006-07, and the increase for this year is consistent between UR and its “peers.”

When asked about the financial implications this increase would cause, Lennie responded with a plan.

“We’re acutely aware of the burden of tuition on students and their families, and we have worked to keep the increase as low as possible,” Lennie said. “The increase this year is substantially less than in the last two years. We will be evaluating all students’ eligibility for financial aid, and we will be able to identify any increased need that results from the increase in tuition.”

The College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering is not the only school in UR to undergo an increase in tuition.

Eastman School of Music will see a 12 percent increase from $28,320 to $31,720 for its incoming freshman. In the press release from March 29, the high increase is said to be attributed to a plan to strengthen Eastman while maintaining its tuition at a level comparable to that of other schools. The plan will span over multiple years. However, the rate for sophomores, juniors and seniors will only increase by five percent.

Four graduate schools of the University will also experience increases in their 2007-08 tuition rates. The School of Nursing will see a four percent increase to $31,200; the School of Medicine and Dentistry will undergo a 3.9 percent increase to $37,200; the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration will have a three percent increase to $36,840; and the Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development will see a four percent increase to $31,650.

Halusic is a member of the class of 2010.

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