Tuition, fees, room-and-board charges announced

Undergraduate tuition at the University will total $29,700 for the 2004-05 academic year — a $1,400 (4.9 percent) increase over the 2003-04 academic year.

The required student activity fee will total $297, and the student health fee will be $549. The announcement was made by Barbara A. Feiner, vice chancellor for finance.

Room-and-board charges for 2004-05 will be $10,292, an increase of $436 (4.4 percent) over the current year’s charges of $9,856 for the full meal plan and newer student housing.

In a letter to parents and students, the University said the following about the 2004-05 tuition, room, board and other fees:

“As we look to the future, here are just a few examples of how we are endeavoring to meet expectations:

Graduate, professional tuition rates, 2004-05

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and graduate programs in the School of Architecture and the School of Engineering & Applied Science:

The 2004-05 tuition charge for graduate students in these programs will be $29,700, a $1,400 increase over the current charge of $28,300.

School of Art graduate programs: The 2004-05 tuition charge for the master of fine arts program will be $24,386, a $938 increase over the current charge of $23,448.

George Warren Brown School of Social Work graduate program: The 2004-05 tuition for the master of social work program will be $23,850, a $1,050 increase over the current charge of $22,800.

School of Law: The 2004-05 tuition for the juris doctor program will be $32,590 for first-year students, an increase of $1,850 over the current charge of $30,740. Second-year students will be charged $32,130, an increase of $1,390 over the current charge of $30,740. Third-year students will pay a tuition of $31,080 — an increase of $1,340 over the current charge of $29,740.

Olin School of Business graduate program: The 2004-05 tuition for the master of business administration program will be $33,000, a $1,550 increase over the current charge of $31,450.School of Medicine: Tuition for 2004-05 for the M.D. degree will be set in March.

Evening, Summer School tuition rates, 2004-05

Undergraduate evening students: For undergraduate evening students enrolling in University College in Arts & Sciences or continuing education classes in the School of Architecture in 2004-05, tuition will be $365 per credit hour, compared with the 2003-04 cost of $330 per credit hour.

Graduate students in University College: Depending upon the graduate program in University College in Arts & Sciences, tuition ranges from $365-$550 per credit hour for 2004-05 compared with the current range of $330-$520.

Summer School in Arts & Sciences: Tuition in Summer School classes in Arts & Sciences will be $565 per undergraduate credit hour, and $665 per graduate credit hour for summer 2004, compared with the 2003 Summer School rates of $530 and $630 per credit hour, respectively.

• Not only are outstanding buildings best for our students, they also are important to our faculty who can better accomplish their teaching mission in state-of-the-art facilities. As we celebrate our 150th anniversary, we are reminded of the importance of modernizing our older, revered buildings. Further, we must continue to move forward with new buildings for current and future teaching, learning and research needs. During the 2004-05 school year, we will begin offering classes and laboratories in our new Earth & Planetary Sciences Building — the new home for a department on the cutting edge of planetary exploration, including the current Mars expedition. Last fall, we opened the Uncas A. Whitaker Hall for Biomedical Engineering, and a year ago we opened the Laboratory Sciences Building for Arts & Sciences. In April, we will break ground for two new buildings in the Sam Fox Arts Center — a collaboration between the schools of Architecture and Art, the Department of Art History in Arts & Sciences, the Library, and the Gallery of Art. The Fox Center includes a new Art Museum, and a second building will be for the School of Art. We will be rededicating an extensively renovated John M. Olin Library on May 7, 2004 — a $38,000,000 project that meets faculty and student expectations for the latest in computer services, networking, and software — as well as traditional printed resources that students and faculty find so valuable in their scholarly pursuits. In August, we opened a new residence hall on the South 40, and now we are building another new residence hall with a health service center to replace Eliot Hall. These projects assure students and faculty the very finest living and learning environment. Although gifts and the earnings from our endowment cover a significant portion of construction costs, the expense of operating all facilities is supported in significant part by revenue from tuition, room and board. New buildings require additional operating expense to maintain them.

• Attracting and retaining the very best faculty is strongly supported by endowed professorships. We have focused on a strong faculty that exemplifies the best in both their teaching and their research. The Campaign for Washington University has now created 132 new professorships since 1995, yet this generous support from alumni and friends cannot begin to satisfy all the related costs of meeting student and faculty expectations for continuing improvements. A major share of faculty compensation continues to come from tuition revenue.

• Curricular expectations have grown in recent years to the point where many students expect the opportunity to not only pursue a specific area of interest, but also to earn double majors, dual degrees and other challenging interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary experiences. Meeting these expectations requires a curriculum and an academic management system that helps students steer a successful course through the maze of courses they are offered. During our campaign, foundations and individual donors have provided excellent seed support for such programs, but the vast share of ongoing costs for academic enhancement is derived from tuition income.

• We continue to seek ways in which technology can improve teaching, learning and the student’s overall experience at Washington University. Our online student records system, our well-equipped computer labs throughout the campus, our experiments with wireless technology, and our development of Web-based course management tools for students and faculty are ongoing initiatives. Our goal is to provide all of our students with the technological fluency they will need to be successful both in pursuing their studies at Washington University and in whatever the future holds.

• Have we met expectations as expressed by students and faculty? We believe so, and these responses are supported by continually increasing rankings by third-party validators and by recognition from similar institutions that see Washington University in St. Louis emerging as one of America’s very best institutions of higher education. Ultimately, the measure of how well we do will be the value of a Washington University degree.

“We are subject to strong economic forces that make it necessary for us to meet our rising costs — such as double-digit increases in employee health benefit costs, higher-than-expected expense for utilities, additional compensation necessary to attract and retain the very best faculty, and the exceptional climb in costs for library books and periodicals. All of these areas rise in cost at a rate significantly higher than annual inflation.

“We are making every effort to control costs and to employ technology in support of cost saving efforts. The new Earth & Planetary Sciences Building employs extensive “green technology” to save energy, but the additional cost to achieve these savings will take years to realize. Recent improvements in heating and cooling and systems for the entire Hilltop Campus also will eventually realize savings, but the cost of converting our systems will be significant for several more years.”

About 60 percent of University undergraduates receive financial aid in the form of grants, scholarships and other awards. As evidence of the University’s commitment to a strong financial aid program, students receiving need-based financial assistance will receive consideration for these increases in costs, along with consideration of changes in their family financial circumstances at the time they apply for renewal of financial aid.

The University offers payment plans to help lessen family financial burdens. The Partners in Education With Parents plan allows University charges for all undergraduate years to be paid in monthly installments over as many as 10 years at competitive fixed interest rates.

The advantage of this plan is that a family can decrease the effect of future tuition and room-and-board increases, depending on the level of participation the family chooses.

There also is a monthly payment plan that allows families to spread all or part of a single academic year’s expenses over 10 equal monthly payments without interest charges.

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