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Feb. 12: Carnegie Mellon 2.9 Percent Tuition Increase For Fall 2010 Lowest in Decades


Ken Walters               

Carnegie Mellon 2.9 Percent Tuition Increase
For Fall 2010 Lowest in Decades

PITTSBURGH—For the second consecutive year, Carnegie Mellon University has announced one of its smallest tuition increases in 35 years to help provide relief for families dealing with the economic downturn. This year's increase of 2.98 percent follows a 2.94 percent increase last year.
For 2010, tuition for entering undergraduate students will be $41,500. Increases for room and board were contained at a rate of 3.96 percent, with housing costs set at $6,300 and board costs rising to $4,450. The university's Board of Trustees authorized the new rates at its Feb. 12 meeting.
"We understand that many families continue to face difficult financial times, so we felt it was imperative to hold down the rate of the tuition increase. At the same time, we will continue to manage the university's resources effectively and efficiently, ensuring that we maintain the exceptional quality of our educational programs," said Carnegie Mellon Vice President for Campus Affairs Michael Murphy.
Last year, Carnegie Mellon opened the Gates Center for Computer Science and the Hillman Center for Future Generation Technologies and began offering two new degrees in music and technology, all signs that the university intends to remain a leader in education and research, Murphy said.
"We are dedicated to providing an excellent learning environment for our students — one that allows them to lay the foundation for future success, both professionally and personally," he said.
Carnegie Mellon has had a system of tiered increases in the past that helped to hold the line on costs for enrolled students. This year, the tuition increase of 2.98 percent is the same for all students. For students who entered Carnegie Mellon in 2006, tuition will be $39,222. Tuition for students who came to Carnegie Mellon in 2007 will be $40,740. For students who entered the university in 2008 or 2009, tuition will be $41,500.
Murphy noted that the university annually asks for input from parents and students when considering tuition costs. "We continually hear the same refrain from both parents and students — that maintaining the extraordinary quality of our educational programs is of paramount importance to them," he said.
Carnegie Mellon uses tuition to sustain and grow programs that allow it to compete for outstanding students and faculty. Tuition also supports the expansion of undergraduate education initiatives and the improvement of laboratory facilities. However, tuition falls far short of the total cost of educating a full-time student. As a result, the university engages in active fundraising efforts to build its endowment and to fund student programs, facilities and scholarships.
Carnegie Mellon offers competitive financial aid packages, and raising money for additional scholarships and student support continues to be a university priority. Murphy said that more than 51 percent of Carnegie Mellon students receive some form of financial aid.
"We understand how vital it is for our students and their families, who may be facing unexpected need," he added. "We continue to reach out to current students to help resolve financial issues."
Landing a spot in Carnegie Mellon's freshman class remains highly competitive. As of Feb. 1, Carnegie Mellon received a record 26,431 applications for the 1,360 spots in its first-year class. The university has also been recognized as a "best value" in U.S. News & World Report's college guide. Carnegie Mellon is currently ranked 22nd by U.S. News & World Report and 27th globally by the 2009 London Times Higher Education Supplement.