The Cornell University Board of Trustees approved the university’s financial planning and 2019-20 budget parameters Feb. 1. The plans include investments in key academic priorities; student socio-economic diversity; faculty and staff salary programs and graduate student stipends; and financial aid.
The board will formally approve the anticipated $4 billion operating budget for the university for fiscal year 2019-20 at its May meeting.
The financial parameters draw upon Cornell’s 10-year plan, begun last year, to continually strengthen the university’s financial standing over the long term. The plan includes investments in financial aid and the university’s buildings and facilities, controlling tuition rate increases, and a gradual reduction in the university’s draw from its endowment.
“This is the sixth consecutive year in which Cornell has slowed the rate of increases in undergraduate tuition,” said Provost Michael Kotlikoff. “The percentage increase in tuition this year is the lowest it has been in decades, and we are budgeting for a significant increase in financial aid. There will be no net tuition increase for current students receiving financial aid, as we continue to work to make Cornell affordable to a greater number of students from all socio-economic backgrounds.”
The undergraduate tuition rate for 2019-20, before financial aid is applied, will be $56,550 for students in the endowed colleges and out-of-state students in the contract colleges, and $37,880 for New York state residents in the contract colleges. This represents an increase of 3.6 percent, down from an increase last year of 3.75 percent. The trustees also approved a 3.25 percent increase in housing and dining rates.
The total cost of attendance – including tuition, housing and dining – for students in endowed colleges and contract college out-of-state students will be $71,796, an increase of 3.53 percent; for contract college New York state residents, cost of attendance will be $53,126, an increase of 3.5 percent.
For the 10th consecutive year, there will be no increase in tuition for doctoral and research master’s degree students. Most other master’s degree programs will see an increase of 3.6 percent; tuition for professional degrees varies, depending on the field of study. Graduate student stipends will increase by 3 percent.
Kotlikoff noted the number of undergraduate students applying to the university remains strong, even among students who receive minimal or no financial aid. “A Cornell education continues to be extremely popular, and our yield rate among those who are accepted continues to grow,” he said. Last year Cornell had the largest applicant pool in university history, and of those offered admission 61 percent chose Cornell, giving an overall yield rate that was 4.4 percent higher than in 2017 and the highest it had been since at least 1980.
To continue to attract high-caliber students, faculty and staff, the university remains committed to investing in areas of academic distinction, educational innovation and student programs. Radical collaboration initiatives linking experts from divergent disciplines, engaged learning and gateway course investments, and student health and student support programs will continue to be a priority, as will other initiatives contributing to “One Cornell,” furthering connections among Cornell’s Ithaca, Weill Cornell Medicine and Cornell Tech campuses.