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University increases tuition

CMU continues trend of tuition hikes (credit: Kate Groschner/Photo Editor) CMU continues trend of tuition hikes (credit: Kate Groschner/Photo Editor)

An email sent to the student body by Vice President for Campus Affairs Michael Murphy last Thursday announced a 4 percent increase in new undergraduate tuition rates for Carnegie Mellon’s 2013–14 academic year.

For 2013, tuition for incoming undergraduate students will be $46,670. Housing costs will be set at $7,070 and board costs at $4,920, which are increases of $260 and $180, respectively.

Tuition increases are the same as those announced last year for the current academic year, with a 3 percent tuition increase for current students, a 4 percent increase for incoming students, and graduate tuition rates continuing to depend on the department and program.

A university press release claimed that this increase “continues a four-year trend of among the lowest tuition increases by the university since 1975.”

In the email, it was emphasized that the transportation fee was substantially increased due to the nature of the university’s agreement with the Pittsburgh Port Authority. This fee will now cost $120, up from $55. Additionally, students were told they could find an increase in their activities fee, as a result of the recently passed referendum to increase the student activities fee. The student activities fee cost is now listed as $242.

Murphy added in the email, “While I am pleased that we have moderated the increase in tuition for continuing students, I also appreciate that our tuition is high by any standard. While much of this is due to underlying inflation, it is also due to our continued commitment to financial aid and to maintaining our funding for the exciting and vibrant community that is our university.”

The university press release emphasized that 57 percent of Carnegie Mellon students receive financial aid.

Murphy concluded his email by saying, “We remain dedicated to providing you with an excellent educational experience — one that prepares you well both professionally and personally.”

On collegedata.com, Carnegie Mellon released a statement regarding the cost of tuition saying, “There’s no denying it, a private college education like Carnegie Mellon’s is expensive. We hope that you and your family will consider the value of a college education from Carnegie Mellon to be an investment in your future.”

Carnegie Mellon’s recent 3 percent increase in tuition for current students and 4 percent increase for incoming students is substantially lower than tuition increases in previous years. The university raised tuition by over 7 percent in 2008 and 2009, and around 5 percent in years prior.

Despite the relatively low increase, students expressed discontent with the high tuition rates and the seemingly low amount of financial aid that they receive.

First-year design major Solomon Ng said, “I think that the increase is absolutely ridiculous because I’m not on financial aid, even though my parents make just above the mark where you can get financial aid. I think it’s kind of unfair. These debts will be with us forever, even after college. I understand that we come to Carnegie Mellon to get a quality education, but I’m going to spend so long trying to pay my debts off. Our tuition is already one of the highest in the nation. I don’t understand why it has to keep on going up.”

Junior electrical and computer engineering major Joon Kwon said, “I think the increase is a little too much. When I first came here tuition was around $50,000 and now it’s $60,000, and that’s a lot. There’s only so much my financial aid can do.”