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January 31, 2000
Princeton Increases Student Fees by Lowest Percentage in Three Decades
Budget Includes Further Improvements in Financial Aid
PRINCETON, NJ -- The Trustees of Princeton University have adopted an operating budget that increases student fees for the 2000-01 academic year by 3.3 percent, a drop from last year's 3.5 percent increase and the lowest percentage increase in more than 30 years. The $661 million budget is projected to be in balance.
The trustees acted January 29 on budget recommendations from President Harold T. Shapiro that were based on the recommendations of the University's Priorities Committee -- a group of faculty, students and staff. The new budget continues the University's commitment to align increases in fees with the rate of growth in family income.
This is the third year of a financial aid initiative in which Princeton has reduced or eliminated student loan requirements for families from lower- and middle-income groups, replacing the loans with additional grants. This year, the University will further reduce the amount of loan in students' financial aid packages for students from middle-income families and will eliminate any consideration of home equity in calculating expected parental contributions for all families. (See accompanying story.) These changes are expected to cost $1.88 million by the time they have been phased in to affect all four undergraduate classes in fiscal year 2004.
Princeton's undergraduate charges will increase to $32,636 next year. Tuition will be $25,430, an increase of 3.25 percent; the room charge will be $3,425, an increase of 5 percent; and board charges will be $3,781, a 2 percent increase. Graduate tuition also will be $25,430; room and board charges will vary according to graduate students' residential and dining plans, but will increase at similar rates to those for undergraduates.
In addition, the University will allocate $125,000 to enable the Graduate School to launch a new program of Centennial Fellowships. This program will provide funding on a competitive basis to graduate students in all academic divisions. The University's commitment is expected to grow to $500,000 annually over the next four years. The program is expected to grow further through fund-raising associated with the celebration of the Graduate School Centennial, which will begin with Reunions in May.
Among other initiatives approved in the 2000-01 budget are: additional funds to allow the Office of Career Services to add two counselors and a support staff member in order to provide better service to students and alumni; to allow Media Services to add a staff member to assist in meeting rapidly increasing demand for academic computing support; to support network connections in all classrooms jointly scheduled by the Registrar's Office and academic departments; to fund stipends for graduate students who will aid faculty members in taking better advantage of new technology in support of their teaching and research; to address Library acquisition needs and to explore alternative means of providing research materials required by students and faculty; to support professional development activities of the professional librarians; to improve salary pools for faculty and staff; to address staffing and programmatic needs associated with the new Frist Campus Center; to support operations of the new Fitness Center, and to enhance the meal plans available to students.
In its report, the Priorities Committee noted it had been able to recommend these new initiatives in part because of savings achieved through administrative reductions and lower-than-anticipated increases in the cost of health benefits.