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Hike in Tuition Reflects MIT Payroll Increases

By Brett Altschul

The $1,000 hike in next year's tuition comes mostly in response to rapidly increasing payroll expenses at the Institute, according to Vice President for Finance and Treasurer Glen P. Strehle '58. The increase was announced March 1.

Although the 4.8 percent tuition increase is well above the rate of inflation, Strehle defended the rate increase.

"The overall percentage increase in expenses, including housing and dining, was slightly less than the percentage increase in tuition alone and may be a better measure of the overall increase in the cost to MIT students next year," Strehle said.

The estimated actual total cost of a year at MIT increased to $28,350 for the 1996-97 academic year, a 4.4 percent increase over last year. The cost of room and board increased by 3.3 percent.

"The expenses of MIT are driven largely by salary and wage increases, which rose faster than the Consumer Price Index increase of 2.5 to 3 percent, both at MIT and at other greater Boston employers with whom we might be compared," Strehle said.

Tuition is one of three major sources of revenue for MIT, said President Charles M. Vest. Historically, tuition covers only half the cost of a student's education. Endowment and unrestricted gifts and grants cover the remainder, he said.

The amount of money students are expected to provide from work and loans before receiving scholarship assistance also increased by $450 to $8,600, a 5.5 percent increase.

The tuition increase was in line with past year's tuition hikes. Last year, MIT raised tuition by $900 to $21,000, a 4.5 percent increase.

Others increase tuition rates

Other top colleges posted similar rate increases. Stanford University's tuition and total costs will each be four percent higher in the 1996-97 academic year, rising to $20,490 and $27,827, respectively. The tuition and total costs of a year at the California Institute of Technology will also rise four percent to $18,000 and $27,465.

On Wednesday, Harvard University announced that its hike for next year would be 2.1 percent, leaving the total cost at $28,896. A 2.4 percent increase makes next year's tuition $19,770. This marked the smallest increase in the last four years.

"Still, I don't think students are too thrilled about paying this much," said Anne Krendl, an editor at The Harvard Crimson. "The rising costs can be a problem."

Princeton University announced a tuition increase of 4.6 percent increase in its tuition for its next academic year. "That's actually the lowest increase in 28 years," said Massie E. Ritsch, a senior writer for The Daily Princetonian. Next year, Princeton will cost $28, 325 total.

"People would feel happier with an increase if they could see where the money was going," Ritsch said. "One big thing that's going on right now are budget cuts," he said.

Princeton had a budget deficit of four million dollars and is planning on cuts that will affect libraries and the computing office on campus. "Those are two areas that students are very reliant on," he said.

"Why can't we stay closer to the rate of inflation? That's definitely a concern," Ritsch said. "It's admirable that they've made it the lowest in 28 years, but it's still certainly a hefty chunk of change."