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Tuition, R&B, and Fees: We Lead the Ivy League In The Price of Education

Tuition3.jpgA while back, I predicted that the Trustees would raise tuition by 4.5%; I was wrong. The increase was 4.4%, from $39,978 to $41,736.

But the Board really got greedy on room, board and fees. Last year these items totaled $12,297; for the coming year they will be $13,629 — a leap a 10.83%. Here is the College’s press summary:

The Dartmouth Board of Trustees announced today that undergraduate tuition will increase 4.4 percent to $41,736 for the 2011-2012 academic year. Undergraduate tuition, room, board, and fees for the coming academic year will be $55,365, a 5.9 percent increase from the current year. Tuition, room, board, and fees cover about half the full cost of a Dartmouth education, with the balance met primarily through gifts, endowment income, and other revenues.

Observe that neither here, nor in the full press release, was the 10.83% jump in the cost of room, board and fees broken out. As if we wouldn’t notice.

The total figure of $55,365 puts us at the top of the Ivies, though I have not seen this year’s announcement from Columbia and Penn. Cornell’s total of $54,645 was the closest one to us. President Kim stated:

“We’ve set tuition for the coming year at a level necessary to ensure we continue to provide our students with the highest quality liberal arts education and experience, while maintaining a solid financial foundation for the College.”

Umm, no. Tuition was set in order to keep over-compensating a bloated staff of 3,056 non-faculty employees who earn way too much in salary and benefits.

Note: Inflation over the past year was 1.5% according to the Labor Department.

Note: The D’s first take on the story misses the huge increase in room, board and fees. And it has no comparison figures on percentage increases this year at other Ivy schools, or their total cost. C’mon guys. It is not as if an announcement on costs was not in the offing. You need to do more than re-print the administration’s press releases.

The D has now fleshed out its story on Ivy tuition. Good job. It looks like Columbia will retain the #1 spot once its increase is announced. There is a certain logic to that position; the cost of living in Manhattan is higher than in rural New Hampshire. For example, the average price of an apartment in Manahttan is $1.38 million; that’s over double the current $609,000 median home price in Hanover.

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