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For immediate release: Jan. 27, 2001

Contact: Marilyn Marks (609) 258-5748,

Three percent tuition and fee increase is lowest in 34 years

Princeton, N.J. -- Undergraduate tuition and fees at Princeton University will rise by 3 percent next year -- the lowest rate of increase in 34 years.

The tuition increase was part of an operating budget of nearly $760 million adopted today by the Board of Trustees for 2001-02.

The low tuition rate increase, along with changes in undergraduate financial aid also approved today by the board, is intended to help ensure that prospective students and their families are better able to afford a Princeton education, according to President Harold T. Shapiro.

"For the last decade, we have been deeply committed to reducing the rate of increase in tuition and fees in an attempt to align those increases more closely with the rate of growth in median family income," he said. "This effort, combined with our sweeping improvements in financial aid, makes a Princeton education truly affordable to all students."

Princeton's undergraduate charges will increase to $33,613 next year. Tuition will be $26,160, an increase of 2.87 percent; room will be $3,596, an increase of 5 percent; and board will be $3,857, an increase of 2 percent.

Graduate tuition will increase by 2.87 percent to $26,160. Room and board charges will vary according to graduate students' housing and dining plans, but will increase at rates similar to those for undergraduates.

The trustees acted on budget recommendations from Shapiro, based on the recommendations of the Priorities Committee of the Council of the Princeton University Community. The committee, which is composed of faculty, staff and students and chaired by Provost Jeremiah Ostriker, has served as the mechanism for recommending fiscal and programmatic priorities for more than three decades.

In its report to Shapiro this year, the committee noted that the rate of increase in undergraduate tuition and fees is lower than the recommended increase in the salary pools for faculty and staff. "It is, financially, extremely difficult to continue to reduce tuition growth, one of our primary sources of income, below the rate of growth of salaries, our primary expense item," the report stated. "Thus, it is unlikely that we will be able to continue this trend for much longer."

Other initiatives

During its review of the operating budget, the committee evaluated requests for growth or changes in existing programs as well as new initiatives. Some of those requests are being funded this year through an increase in endowment income spending.

In addition, the committee determined that it could recommend funding several other requests through approximately $1.9 million available in the 2001-02 operating budget. Those initiatives, also approved by the trustees, will: