Trustees Approve Tuition Increase


Duke's board of trustees approved a 5.1 percent increase in tuition, fees, and room and board for undergraduate students in the coming academic year. Trustees also approved a 7.7 percent increase in financial aid to help offset increased costs to the more than 40 percent of Duke students who receive financial support.

Tuition and mandatory fees for students enrolled in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and the Pratt School of Engineering will be $32,409 for 2005-06, up 5.5 percent from $30,720 for the current year. The total cost to attend Duke this coming school year, including room and board, will increase by 5.1 percent, to $41,239. Trustees also approved new tuition rates for Duke's graduate and professional schools.

Duke will spend nearly $55 million in undergraduate financial aid to support students, up from $51 million in 2004-05.

"We continue to try hard to hold down the increase in tuition and fees for our undergraduate students and their families, while assuring that we have sufficient resources to support the excellent educational programs we offer them," says Peter Lange, university provost. "Duke's endowment is smaller than at many of the universities with which we compete for the best faculty and students. It is essential that we continue to retain and attract outstanding faculty and students, and that we develop the programs and facilities that support their work. Tuition is critical to our ability to do so.

"We also recognize that many families have to absorb significant financial burdens to enable their children to benefit from the Duke experience. We therefore need greater amounts of financial aid to support their sons' and daughters' access to Duke."

Under its need-blind admissions policy, the university admits students based on an assessment of their academic performance and their potential and ability to contribute to the undergraduate experience. It does not consider an applicant's financial status or the ability of his or her family to pay for a college education. The university then commits to provide 100 percent of a student's demonstrated financial need for all four years of the student's undergraduate education.

"Duke remains one of the relatively few universities committed to meeting a student's full demonstrated need through a combination of work-study opportunities, low-cost loans, and outright grants," says Lange. "This requires an extraordinary commitment of university resources, but ensuring access for qualified students is a top university priority."

More than 40 percent of Duke undergraduates receive financial assistance from the university. The annual average grant to a financial-aid recipient for the 2004-05 academic year was $21,320, and officials say they expect next year's average grants to be at least as high.

Two years ago, Duke was among twenty-nine colleges and universities nationwide to adopt a new methodology for financial aid, the Consensus Approach to Need Analysis, designed to make assessments of family need more uniform across institutions and to provide more supportive financial-aid awards. Duke will apply these new standards again with the entering class this fall. It will also continue, for the fourth consecutive year, to phase in limited need-based aid for international students.

The university has made other changes to strengthen its financial-aid programs. Next year, for the first time, it will expand aid eligibility for transfer students, allow academic prizes to be added to aid packages, and provide greater support for students participating in summer internships, among other things.

The trustees also approved new tuition rates for Duke's graduate and professional schools for 2005-06:

  • Divinity School, $13,920, up 4.5 percent
  • Fuqua School of Business, $37,500 (daytime M.B.A.), up 5.8 percent
  • Graduate School, $31,420, up 7.1 percent
  • Law School, $35,870, up 5.9 percent
  • Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, $24,300, up 4.3 percent
  • Medical School, $34,842, up 5.9 percent
  • Nursing School, $26,676, up 6 percent.

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