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CMU increases tuition by 3.2% for current students

Credit: Anne-Sophie Kim/Layout Manager Credit: Anne-Sophie Kim/Layout Manager

To start off the 2016 spring semester, Carnegie Mellon students received an email notifying them that the tuition rates for the 2016-2017 academic year and beyond (until further notice) were recently approved by the Board of Trustees. It was announced that undergraduate tuition has been increased by 3.2 percent.

For a school with an already whopping price tag, this comes as devastating news for many. But maybe having a better understanding of the necessity for these gradual tuition increases and the benefits of them will help to put more meaning behind the numbers.

For current freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, tuition will increase from $49,610 to $51,196. Current seniors, who are part of a five year program, will be slightly spared with a tuition price of $50,690. Next year’s incoming freshmen, however, will face the additional expenses of the $270 orientation fee as well as the standard first year meal plan price of $5,490, bringing their tuition increase to 3.28 percent.

Tuition price was not all that was raised. There are other factors that contribute to the total cost of attendance, most of which faced slight increases as well. Tuition rates for the entire undergraduate student body will be topped off with a $180 transportation fee, a $400 technology fee, an undergraduate activity fee of $254 and a graduate activity fee of $210. Room and board has also been set at $7,780 for a standard double room. The only price that did not change was the media fee which is still its usual $10.

While the above stated numbers are for the average Carnegie Mellon student, there are two main factors that are sure to vary on a student by student case. Firstly, prices will vary for certain students depending on room and board selections, choosing to opt out of a meal plan etc. Also, the general price stated is, in most cases, not what students end up paying.

Carnegie Mellon has time and again asserted that it is committed to lessening the financial burden of its students through financial aid packages. The University makes it a priority to help provide students with scholarships, fellowships, grants, and other financial support methods. In essence, no one will be forced to pay a fee that is wildly out of their limit.

Knowing that you are attending a highly competitive university is usually attached with the knowledge that there will be a great price tag. In September 2015, U.S. News and World Report ranked the university as number 23 for best national university. It was also ranked seventh for undergraduate business and sixth for undergraduate engineering. The Princeton Review ranked it as the best college for theater. The recognition goes on and on. Attending a competitive school with such high recognition, in the long run, allows many students to reap the benefits of money spent on tuition now later on in their future careers.

Tuition increases, such as these, are often necessary in order to uphold the prestige and the overall rewarding college experience that is provided to us as members of the Carnegie Mellon community. It is believed that the amount of energy, time, and money that is put in to our college careers will be returned to us years later. Our tuition money is directed towards sustaining rigorous programs for competitive students as well as acquiring some of the best faculty members, in addition to maintaining and expanding educational facilities. Without any of this, we would be at a serious disadvantage at attaining the best education possible.