Barnard College will charge $53,252 in tuition for the 2018-2019 academic year, according to an email sent to students Thursday morning by Chief Operating Officer Rob Goldberg and Dean of the College Avis Hinkson.
Tuition at Barnard—which rose 25 percent between 2010 and 2017—remains the college’s main source of revenue, accounting for nearly 80 percent of the college’s operating budget. 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 $55,032, up from this year’s cost of $52,662.
In an interview with Spectator, Chief Operating Officer Robert Goldberg said that the college worked to keep the rise in tuition in line with last year’s increase.
“We try very hard to keep the increase as modest as possible, and so we always look at what we’ve done in prior years, last year we increased it 4.5 percent, I think we’re trying to be consistent and still meet the needs of the college,” he said.
He added that the increase stems from the rising fixed costs, which include union contracts, salaries and benefits, and maintenance, as well as efforts to enhance the college’s academic programming.
Students will also see an increase in the cost of meal plans, with the platinum plan—the default for first-years—costing $6,790, up from $6,590 this year. The number of meal plans has also been reduced, though students will now have 24-hour access to JJ’s Place. Additionally, Barnard students will now be able to use as many guest swipes as they have meal swipes remaining in their balance, a decision Goldberg said was meant to help address the issue of food insecurity on campus.
The college also confirmed a new flat rate for housing of $10,435, which is slightly more than the average cost for housing this year. Currently, multiple-occupancy rooms cost $9,510, and single rooms cost $11,038. Studio singles will continue to cost an additional fee, which was not disclosed in the announcement. Goldberg said that the college will not be making additional revenue off the move to a flat rate.
“We worked this on the basis of what are our housing costs and how do we align the rates for the two types of rooms so that we’re not making any more money than we would have, but we’re trying to make the prices more equitable,” he said.
Goldberg added that financial aid packages would adjust to meet the increasing tuition and fees, and reiterated the college’s commitment to need-blind admissions and meeting full financial aid. On Tuesday evening, the college raised over $3.6 million for financial aid at its annual fundraising gala. However, he said that the college is not considering a tuition freeze after the Bold Standard capital campaign—which is set to bring in $400 million for financial aid and capital financing—concludes this year.
“The more we raise, the larger the endowment, [and] the more that feeds into the operating budget, it puts less pressure on tuition,” he said. “But there’s going to be continued emphasis on fundraising, and fundraising for financial aid is a critical part of that, because that just expands the size of the pie.”