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James Robinson, News Service (650) 723-5675; e-mail:

Trustees set tuition, room and board rates for 2000-2001

The Board of Trustees on Tuesday set rates for undergraduate tuition, room and board for 2000-2001 that reflect a 5 percent increase over the current year. At the same time, to assure accessibility of a Stanford education for all those who are admitted, the university bolstered student financial assistance by nearly $6 million.

The additional aid marks the third consecutive year the university has significantly improved its financial aid program. This move ensures that the university will provide a greater amount of financial aid to those students who receive need-based assistance and, as a result, the amount their families will be asked to pay will not increase as long as the family's financial capability does not increase. Stanford remains one of the few private institutions of higher education that admits students without regard to their ability to pay.

While maintaining accessibility for students, the Board's plan also will ensure that the university remains competitive given the challenges presented by the Bay Area's booming economy.

"Stanford has been one of the primary contributors to the technologies that are the foundation of the new economy," noted Robert Bass, chairman of the Board of Trustees. "Because that new technology is centered largely in Silicon Valley, Stanford and the valley have mutually benefited from each other's presence. That mutual presence has made Stanford one of the most exciting places for faculty and students. But the valley also has generated significant pressures on the university, especially in recent years, due to its high wage and housing costs.

"This year's changes respond to these higher costs, while reaffirming Stanford's commitment to offering one of the nation's most extensive financial aid programs and retaining an undergraduate tuition rate that is lower than that of comparable institutions. And Stanford continues to lead U.S. universities by significantly investing in new programs, such as Stanford Introductory Studies, that enhance the undergraduate experience."

Stanford is also taking significant steps to enhance the university's financial aid program and provide additional need-based aid for middle-income families. For both new and continuing students, the university will:

(sum) Lower the standard "self-help" requirement the amount students are expected to contribute to their educational costs through loans and part-time work during the school year by $1,000, from $6,500 to $5,500.

(sum) Implement a new methodology in financial aid calculations to further assist middle-income families by reducing the parental contribution.

(sum) Cap the parental contribution in financial aid calculations at 20 percent of income for families with annual household incomes of $50,000 to $100,000. Roughly one-third of the families in the $50,000 to $100,000 income range will be eligible for increased aid as a result.

While healthy economic times have benefited Stanford, the trustees noted that inflationary pressures in the Bay Area have driven up costs for the university, especially in the housing sector.

(sum) Between October 1998 and October 1999, the Bay Area Consumer Price Index was almost double the national rate.

(sum) The region's acute shortage of affordable housing has put pressure on Stanford both to build additional on-campus residences for faculty and graduate students and to increase the funding of its housing assistance programs. For the 2000-2001 academic year, Stanford will spend $5 million to subsidize the rents of on-campus and off-campus apartments for between 800 to 900 graduate students (an increase in total subsidy of more than 50 percent).

In addition, to address increased living costs for graduate students, the university will increase the minimum graduate student stipend by 6 percent for the 2000-2001 academic year. The university also is working on a program to lighten the tuition load on doctoral students and their sponsors through a reduction in the graduate residency requirement that would be phased in beginning in 2001-2002.

Taken separately, the rate for undergraduate tuition for 2000-2001 will be $24,441, a 6 percent increase over the tuition charges for the current year; the cost of room and board will be $8,030, which represents a 1.9 percent increase over the current year's fees.

Tuition covers only about 60 percent of the actual cost Stanford incurs to educate an undergraduate. Even students paying full tuition are subsidized by donors and by income from the university's endowment. And although the economy has helped boost the university's endowment, income from endowment covered only 16 percent of the university's operating expenses in 1998-99. In a recent comparison of private universities, Stanford ranked 21st in terms of endowment value per student. The university is seeking to redress some of that imbalance through a commitment to increasing the endowment for undergraduate financial aid, which will allow it to maintain need-blind admissions and enhance its financial aid program in the future.



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