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Trustees approve 4.9 percent endowed tuition increase

The Cornell Board of Trustees has approved a 4.9 percent tuition increase for undergraduate students in the university's endowed colleges. But tuition for the university's Graduate School research students will drop by 10.1 percent.

Overall, the cost of room and board, tuition and mandatory fees for undergraduate students in Cornell's endowed colleges will rise by 4.7 percent, to $48,194 from $46,021.

The cost of Graduate School tuition will decrease in 2008-09 to $29,500 for students in research-degree programs affiliated with Cornell endowed colleges and will continue to drop by about another 30 percent over the next three years.

Tuition for Cornell's endowed undergraduate students is being set at $36,300, up from the current $34,600. Average undergraduate room fees and the full dining plan will increase by 4 percent, to $6,950 from $6,680.

Tuition for nonresident students in Cornell's state-supported colleges will increase by $1,700, the same dollar increase as for endowed undergraduate tuition, or 5.1 percent, to $35,200. Tuition for resident New York state students in the state-supported colleges will increase by $1,050 (5.5 percent) to $20,160, in line with an expected increase in state support to partially offset increasing costs of education.

"Education costs continue to rise rapidly, particularly for recruiting and retaining the best faculty and attracting outstanding and diverse students," said Cornell Provost Biddy Martin, noting that tuition and fees cover only a portion of the cost of educating students. "The increases are projected to keep us in the mid-range among our peer institutions and those with whom we compete for students. But, we will maintain our historical commitment to a diverse student body and will continue to ensure that financial aid rises at a rate commensurate with any tuition increases."

The Cornell Student Assembly recommended raising the student activity fee to $204 in 2008-09 (up 12.7 percent). This increase will incorporate funding for undergraduate access to most varsity athletic events and the student organization Cornell Minds Matter, a mental-health advocacy group. Class Council funding was also increased to help support the annual convocation speaker, Senior Week and class unity.

Ithaca campus professional school tuition and other fees for 2008-09 approved by the trustees are:

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