Under the University’s 2015–16 budget, the annual cost of a Princeton education will top $60,000 for the first time, but more money is being set aside for financial aid to help make it affordable.
The $1.75 billion budget, approved by the trustees in January, will boost undergraduate tuition, room, and board by a total of 3.9 percent. When books and personal expenses are included, the cost of a year at Princeton will exceed $60,000, but the total will remain “firmly at the bottom of its comparison group” — the Ivies plus Stanford and MIT — said Provost David S. Lee *96 *99.
The University’s financial-aid budget will increase by 7.4 percent to $140.2 million — growing by a larger percentage than its fee package for the 14th time in 15 years, Lee said. About 59 percent of undergraduates receive aid, and that number is expected to increase slightly as the University continues its efforts to attract a more socioeconomically diverse student body. The projected average grant for next year’s freshman class is $46,350.
“Most students from families with incomes up to $140,000 pay no tuition, and for an average family with income around $160,000, grant support would cover roughly 80 percent of tuition,” Lee said.
Tuition for graduate students will increase 3.9 percent. Housing fees will rise between 2 and 3 percent, and graduate stipends will increase 3 percent.
Lee said that Princeton is in a solid financial position, benefiting from savings in energy and health-care costs this year. But he warned of budget pressures including “fierce” competition for top faculty and the need to increase financial aid “to ensure that we remain accessible to all students.”
The budget includes $1 million to support several specific initiatives. They include hiring additional staff at the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning and the Freshman Scholars Institute, which supports first-generation and lower-income students; adding resources to provide digital access to the Princeton University Art Museum’s entire collection; providing support to the Office of Career Services to fund its “career and life vision” programming and other projects; and hiring additional staff to support graduate students and alumni outreach.
The endowment is expected to contribute $821 million to the budget, 46.8 percent of the total and a 5 percent increase from the current year.