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Tuition Increase Lowest in More than 40 Years; Aid Up 10 Percent

Undergraduate tuition, room, and board at Northwestern will increase 3.6 percent, while the amount of financial aid provided to undergraduate students will increase by 10 percent, University officials announced.

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February 25, 2009 | by Alan K. Cubbage
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Undergraduate tuition, room, and board at Northwestern University will increase 3.6 percent to $49,791 in 2009-2010 from the current year's $48,050 while the amount of financial aid provided to undergraduate students will increase by 10 percent, University officials announced today.

Undergraduate tuition will increase 3.6 percent to $38,088 for the 2009-2010 academic year from the current year's $36,756. The 3.6 percent increase is the lowest percentage increase in more than 40 years, since 1967, when Northwestern did not raise tuition.

Room and board rates also will increase 3.6 percent to $11,703 from $11,294 for an undergraduate student living in a double room and on a 19-meal-per-week board plan. Approximately 4,000 of Northwestern's 8,100 undergraduate students live in University residence halls.

The University's Board of Trustees approved the costs for next year at its February 21, 2009 meeting.

"We were determined to keep our cost increases as low as possible despite recent losses to the endowment, given the current state of the economy," said Northwestern President Henry S. Bienen. "In addition, we plan to increase the total amount of scholarship funds available for undergraduates significantly in order to help Northwestern students and their families in paying for a Northwestern education."

Northwestern will increase the amount of scholarship funds for undergraduates to $86 million from this year's $78 million —an increase of 10 percent, or almost triple the 3.6 percent increase in tuition. In addition, Northwestern will continue its commitment to providing undergraduate students who demonstrate the greatest need financial aid that does not include any loan component. Northwestern also will continue its policy of "need-blind" admission for U.S. citizens and permanent residents, in which a student's ability to pay is not considered during the admission process.

"We have asked all areas of the University to cut operating expenses in the coming year and we have delayed several major capital projects as a cost-saving measure in order to continue Northwestern's historic commitments to need-blind admissions and meeting the full financial need of our students," Bienen said.

The cost increase will help pay for meeting students' financial aid needs, supporting modest salary and benefit increases for Northwestern faculty and staff in the coming year, recruiting and retaining the best faculty and maintaining Northwestern's facilities and information technology infrastructure.

The undergraduate student athletic fee will increase from $33 to $37 next year.

The Board of Trustees also approved tuition rates for most of Northwestern's graduate and professional programs. Graduate school tuition will increase by 3.6 percent to $38,088 next year and tuition at the Feinberg School of Medicine will increase 2.5 percent to $42,974. Tuition for the Kellogg School of Management and the Law School will be finalized later this year.