Princeton University Will Raise Undergraduate Tuition by 3.9 Percent

The trustees at Princeton University have approved a 3.8 percent in undergraduate tuition, room and board for the 2013-14 school year, bringing total charges to $53,250 per year.

The trustees also approved a 4.6 percent increase in undergraduate financial aid in the operating budget for 2013-14. Students who are receiving financial aid will not see an increase in the amount they pay, because aid packages are automatically adjusted to compensate for changes in fees. The average aid package for a student admitted to the class of 2016 is $39,700, university officials said. Sixty percent of the student body receives financial aid.

“Once again Princeton’s financial aid expenditures will rise faster than its fee package,” Provost Christopher Eisgruber said. “The growth of the scholarship budget to $121.4 million will maintain Princeton’s commitment to making its education affordable to any student who is admitted, regardless of ability to pay and without the need for loans.”

The total undergraduate fee package increase of 3.8 percent includes the 3.9 percent tuition increase to $40,170; a 3.9 percent increase in room charges to $7,220; and a 3.2 percent increase in board rates, to $5,860 for a full meal plan.

The approved budget also includes a 3.9 percent  increase in the regular graduate tuition, from $38,650 to $40,170, the same as undergraduate tuition. The budget includes a 3 percent increase in graduate student stipends.
In adopting the $1.58 billion budget, which is 4 percent larger than this year’s budget, the trustees also approved an increase of approximately 3 percent in faculty and staff housing rates, and increases ranging from 3 percent to 4 percent in graduate student apartment rates.

Eisgruber said that while the increase in the total fee package ensures that the University maintains excellence and its education remains a good value for all students, it will still keep Princeton at the bottom of its comparison group, with its fees for next year falling about $1,000 below this year’s fee package for its closest competitor.

The budget proposal was presented to the trustees by President Shirley M. Tilghman during a meeting Jan. 26.

Eisgruber said while the University was able to absorb some of the impact from steadily rising labor costs because of exceptionally healthy growth in the endowment in recent years, similarly favorable investment conditions are not likely to recur in the near future, so the University needs to manage future growth carefully.

The approved budget includes $1.2 million for programmatic recommendations, up from $500,000 last year, to support important University priorities, including internationalization, online presence, career services and placement, graduate stipends, sustainability, compliance, and employee benefits.

Some of the high-priority initiatives that will receive funding include: hiring a manager of international appointments in the office of the Dean of the Faculty to ensure that the University remains compliant with numerous legal requirements; hiring a librarian to assist scholars navigate copyright policies, negotiate with publishers, and include their work in an new online open access database of articles by Princeton researchers; adding staff support for undergraduate and graduate competitive fellowship advising; and hiring an executive director in the Office of Career Services to provide strategic leadership and develop high-level external relations.