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Tuition at Barnard—which has risen by 25 percent since 2010—remains the college’s greatest source of revenue, alongside housing.

Barnard has announced that tuition for the 2017-2018 school year will be $50,882, up more than 4.6 percent from last year’s tuition fee of $48,614.

Tuition at Barnard—which has risen by 25 percent since 2010—remains the college’s greatest source of revenue, alongside housing. In an interview with Spectator earlier this month, Interim President and Chief Operating Officer Rob Goldberg indicated that tuition would likely have to increase to accommodate the Barnard contingent faculty union contract, as well as other expenses associated with salaries and benefits for faculty and staff.

Including the comprehensive fee—which students pay for services like access to Dodge Fitness Center and Student Health Services—the 2017-2018 tuition and fees will be $52,662, up from this year’s cost of $50,394.

In addition to the tuition increase, the cost of the first-year “platinum” meal plan will rise to $6,590 per year—an increase from $6,368 this year—and all meal plans will now include guest swipes to help alleviate food insecurity on campus. Previously, students were not allowed to share meal swipes, though the college began a meal point donation program two years ago.

All housing rates have also increased from their 2016-2017 costs, with multiple-occupancy rooms set to cost $9,510, singles to cost $11,038, and studio singles to cost $16,480. For the 2016-2017 academic year, multiples cost $9,230, singles $10,712, and studio singles $16,000.

In the email announcing the fee increases, Goldberg and Dean of the College Avis Hinkson wrote that the college is “doing all [it] can to relieve pressure on tuition,” citing the Bold Standard capital campaign and budgetary cost-controlling measures.

“We understand that rising costs present a burden to many students and their families. We take the impact on our students seriously,” Goldberg and Hinkson wrote.

The full text of the email can be found below:

Dear students,We are writing to let you know that the Barnard Board of Trustees has approved the 2017-2018 rates for tuition, fees, room, and board. We know that any increase can be difficult for many of our families, so we wanted to take a moment to explain the details and our approach. 

Tuition and Fees for 2017-2018

For the upcoming academic year, the total rate for tuition, fees, a multiple room and board will be $68,762—an increase of $2,770 from this year's rates. As in past years, this price reflects the growing costs associated with recruiting and retaining our faculty and staff, fully funding financial aid and maintaining our commitment to need-blind admissions, implementing the new curriculum, funding the costs of our union contracts, including the new contingent faculty union, and expanding a variety of services to meet the needs of our community. 

 The breakdown of the total cost is as follows:

• Tuition and the comprehensive fee will cost $52,662, including $50,882 for tuition and $1,780 for the comprehensive fee.

• The price for multiple rooms will be $9,510. Rates for single rooms will be $11,038, and the rate for studio apartments will be $16,480.

• The price for the Platinum meal plan (19 meals per week) will be $6,590.

Meal Plan Changes

Last year we expanded several dining services, including first-time access for Barnard students to JJ's Place, opening The Diana second floor dining room for dinner, and linking meal services to the opening of residence halls. These services will continue during the coming year. In addition, in response to student concerns about food insecurity, and to encourage community building, there will be additional “guest” swipes added for all meal plans. 

We understand that rising costs present a burden to many students and their families. We take the impact on our students seriously and are doing all we can to relieve pressure on tuition by seeking to raise private funding as part of our capital campaign, the Bold Standard, and controlling costs without sacrificing the quality of services that we provide our community. However, given that tuition, fees, room, and board still represent our single largest source of revenue, annual increases are unfortunately necessary for Barnard to improve the quality of the educational experience and to continue to be the most selective women's college in the country. 

 All the best,

Rob Goldberg, Interim President and Chief Operating Officer

Avis Hinkson, Dean of the College

ainsley.bandrowski@columbiaspectator.com | @ACBandrowski

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