Trustees approve 3.5-percent tuition increase

Feb. 9, 2011, 3:04 a.m.

The Board of Trustees approved a combined tuition, room and board increase of 3.5 percent for the 2011-2012 academic year. This rise will be applied across the University, with the exception of Stanford Law School, which will see a 5.75-percent hike in its fees.

In a press briefing Monday, Board President Leslie Hume said revenue from the tuition increase would address the University’s “need for unrestricted operating funds.”

Approximately 57 percent of Stanford’s general funds — the portion of the University budget that can be used flexibly — comes from tuition revenue. This money is typically used for faculty raises, programmatic purposes and, occasionally, capital projects.

Hume noted that the trustees felt positively about the newly approved tuition, room and board fees. She explained that next year’s revenue could pay for faculty salary increases and the gradual reinstatement of positions frozen during the recession.

“It is going to enable the University to achieve an improvement of the faculty,” Hume said.

According to the trustees, this will be a balanced tuition increase since financial aid is expected to go up in tandem. Financial aid totaled $66 million in 2007 and is projected to reach $122 million in 2012.

Hume said the trustees “are very conscious about financial aid.”

“Any tuition increase will be met with additional funds for families whose financial circumstances are unchanged,” she added.

At the same time, Dean of Admission Richard Shaw is spreading the word about Stanford’s need-blind financial aid policy. The University aims to make this policy visible because it does not want prospective students to turn away from applying simply because of the tuition hike. Currently, students whose families make under $60,000 receive full financial aid. Families making less than $100,000 are only obligated to pay room and board.

In Feb. 2010, the Board of Trustees approved a similar 3.5-percent increase in undergraduate tuition for the current academic year.

The Law School will implement a more dramatic increase in tuition, room and board. Hume explained that the school was “under-pricing” itself relative to its competitors.

“There was a feeling that we were delivering a quality product equal to or better than our competitors, and yet our tuition costs less,” she said.

In other news, the Board of Trustees gave concept and site approval for Phase 2 of the Stanford Auxiliary Library project. The Auxiliary Library, which is located in Livermore, expects to double its storage capacity at a $35.5 million price tag. The West Campus Recreation Center, which was approved in December, received design approval.

In April, the Board of Trustees will take a more in-depth look at land use on the Farm.

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