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Updated: April 19, 3:27 p.m.

Barnard released its tuitions and fees for the 2016-17 academic year and announced several updates to the college's dining services and winter break housing policy in an email sent from Chief Operating Officer Rob Goldberg and Dean of the College Avis Hinkson on Tuesday.

Tuition

The total rate of tuition, fees, room, and board will be $65,992, which is $3,251 more than the rates for the current academic year.

Tuition and the comprehensive fee will rise to $50,394—a 5.8 percent increase from last year. By comparison, the tuition and the comprehensive fee rate had increased 3.4 percent for the 2015-16 academic year at a total cost of $47,631.

"This rise is directly related to societal increases in the cost of living and, for Barnard, reflects the growing costs associated with recruiting and retaining our faculty and staff, fully funding financial aid to maintain need blind admissions, implementing the new curriculum, and expanding a variety of services in response to student requests," the email stated.

Housing fees for single occupancies, multiple occupancies, and studio singles, will also increase by a rate of roughly three percent. The comprehensive fee will remain the same at $1,780.

The platinum meal plan (19 meals per week) fee will rise by 3.5 percent and cost $6,368.

Meal plans

Following a renegotiation with Aramark, several changes are coming to Barnard's dining options and meal plans for the upcoming fall semester.

Students will officially have access to JJ's Place for the first time. Although Barnard students had been able to swipe into JJ's Place prior to 2014, Barnard never officially had an agreement with Columbia Dining for the use of JJ's Place.

The second floor Diana Center café will also be open for dinner this fall and will accept meal swipes. A full-time executive chef, who will primarily be stationed at Hewitt Dining Hall, will also be hired to oversee Barnard's dining services.

Though first-years and students living in the Quad will still be required to purchase the platinum and the Upper Class Quad meal plan, respectively, Goldberg said that there will be an additional convenience meal plan where students will be able to purchase meal swipes and points in much smaller increments throughout the year.  

Dining services—either Hewitt or Diana—will also be open during fall break, Thanksgiving break, and spring break, rather than only being open when classes are in session.

Winter break housing

Tour guides, varsity athletes, students with unsafe home situations, international students on financial aid, and students with academic responsibilities that have to be completed on campus will be eligible for housing over winter break. Plimpton Hall will be the only open residential hall over break and students who are accepted for housing must make an arrangement with a student already living Plimpton for the use of their room over the break.

Though the college will still officially be closed over break, students will be allowed to return on Jan. 11—almost a week before classes for the spring semester begin. Dining and health services will also be open at this time.

The change comes after students expressed frustration over Barnard's controversial winter break housing policy, which only allowed for "mission critical" students, such as varsity athletes and tour guides, to be eligible for housing.

SGA's Housing Advisory Committee, led by Representative for Campus Affairs Maya Edwards, BC '17, drafted three possible winter break housing policy proposals which were presented to Dean of the College Avis Hinkson last Tuesday. Though the newly announced winter break housing policy mostly satisfies the suggestions of the first proposal, it does not allow students with financial difficulties, unless they are international students, to be eligible for housing over the break, as the first proposal had requested.

Under the new policy, the Barnard Residential Life and Housing Office will oversee the application process for winter break housing and assist students who do not live in Plimpton with finding a room to stay in.

"They need to take more of a proactive position in that process," Edwards said of the need for ResLife to help facilitate the room exchange. "It's very stressful, it's really hard for students to be asking around for rooms to stay in from people they don't already know. We said that ResLife should help facilitate this process, whether it be by having a Google Doc, and making sure that someone is appropriately paired up with someone else."

"We have tried to address student concerns about access, about meals, about housing, and provide the students with the diversity of choices in the meal plan that they've asked for all these years. We're feeling pretty good we're heading in the right direction," Goldberg said in an interview with Spectator. "Obviously, there's no discussion on these things that is completely closed off for future improvements, so we're happy to engage in those discussions. We want to make sure we're continually improving."

news@columbiaspectator.com | @ColumbiaSpec

Correction: A previous version of this article had inaccurately stated that tuition will increase by 9.9 percent. In fact, tuition will increased by 6.0 percent, and tuition and the comprehensive fee together will increase by 5.8 percent compared to last year's 3.4 percent rate increase.  

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