Princeton won't raise tuition; other costs soar

Room and board surges 19%, lifting Princeton's 2007-2008 overall cost 4.2%.

By Christian Zappone, staff writer

NEW YORK ( -- Princeton University said it will not raise its tuition for the 2007-2008 school year, holding it steady - at $33,000 - for the first time since 1967.

Room and board costs, however, will jump 19 percent, bringing the total cost to $43,980, a 4.2 percent increase overall.

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Total costs at all 4-year institutions grew an average of 5.7 percent in the 2006-2007 school year, to $30,367, according to the College Board. The average bill for room and board increased 5 percent.

"We're aware that rising college costs continue to be a concern," said Cass Cliatt of Princeton. "Addressing this issue through our review of tuition and fees complements the efforts we have made through our generous financial aid program."

Dr. Sandy Baum, senior policy analyst for the non-profit College Board, qualified her praise of the university's decision. "It's terrific that Princeton is doing something to set an example about keeping tuition in check," said Baum. "But they raised their room and board by an unusually high amount."

Baum notes, too, that the majority of Princeton's students live on campus.

"The rise in room and board fees will support the significant improvements we are making to our dining offerings as part of our residential college improvements," Cliatt said.

Cliatt also said the increase will help pay for the difference in the cost of room and board and the university-subsidized price students typically pay.

The New Jersey-based Ivy League university attributed the unchanged tuition cost to generous donations by alumni and to the strong performance of investments in its endowment, which grew 16.4 percent in the 2005-2006 year, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

Princeton's endowment grew from $11.2 billion in 2005 to $13 billion in 2006, among the highest endowment-per-student of any university.


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