April 3, 2008
Vol. 27 No. 13

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    Student aid helps meet tuition costs in College

    By Julia Morse
    News Office

    The Board of Trustees has approved a 4.9 percent tuition increase for the 2008-2009 school year, but less than half of students will actually pay the full amount.

    Of the approximately 4,780 students currently enrolled in the College, about 57 percent receive financial aid, including need-based, merit or a combination of both.

    On average, students who receive need-based aid contribute only about $9,000 from their personal or family resources toward tuition, room and board, fees, books and other personal expenses—a more than 70 percent discount from the estimated total cost of attendance.

    “We continue to be extremely committed to student aid at Chicago, so that bright, talented students can fully engage in the College experience, regardless of their financial situations,” said Michael Behnke, Vice President and Dean of College Enrollment. “As the cost of a college education is rising nationwide, we are expanding and adding to our student-aid programs, including the establishment of the Odyssey Scholarship Program, which I believe has the power to transform undergraduate education at Chicago.”

    Funded through an anonymous $100 million gift from an alumnus, the Odyssey Scholarship Program was established last year, launching a $400 million student-aid fund-raising initiative at Chicago.

    Odyssey will go into effect this fall and will allow the University to reduce student loans for students who have high financial need. For students whose annual family income is less than $60,000, loans could be replaced entirely by grants. For students whose annual family income is between $60,000 and $75,000, the loans could be cut in half.

    “We are so grateful for the generosity of this donor who made Odyssey Scholarships possible,” said Alicia Reyes, Director of College Aid. “The gift enhances the substantial resources that the University already provides to undergraduates, including more than $55 million in need- and merit-based grant and scholarship funds from institutional sources for the 2008-2009 school year.”

    The federal student loan indebtedness of Chicago graduates is lower than the national average. In 2006, the average student graduated from college with about $21,100 in federal loans; at Chicago that same year, the average federal loan indebtedness for a College graduate was about $18,500.

    The 4.9 percent increase will raise the total cost to $48,488—with tuition at $36,892 and room and board at $11,696.