April 16, 2009
Vol. 28 No. 14

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    Cost of education to rise 3.5 percent at University

    By Sarah Galer
    News Office

    The full cost to students for a University of Chicago education will grow by 3.5 percent for the 2009–2010 school year.

    In difficult economic times, the University has worked to relieve the burden on students and families in a number of ways — by increasing financial aid; by reducing total University expenditures $143 million from their 2008-2009 level; and by increasing the rate at which the University spends its endowment from 5 to 5.25 percent.

    There will be no increase in the cost of room and board, making the rise in total costs the smallest in more than a decade. During that period, financial aid grew at an average annual rate of 8.17 percent, almost twice the average annual rate of total costs.

    The 3.5 percent increase will raise the estimated total cost to $51,078, which includes tuition, room and board, and mandatory fees. Tuition will rise 4.5 percent, to $38,550.

    As part of the University’s ongoing commitment to making a Chicago education available to qualified students, more than half of all incoming undergraduates will receive financial aid, with an average need-based grant award of $33,573. Of approximately 5,000 students currently enrolled in the College, about 57 percent receive need-based aid, merit scholarships or a combination of both.

    “Helping bright, talented students afford a Chicago education is extremely important to us. In these tough economic times, we are more committed to student aid than ever,” said Michael Behnke, Vice President and Dean of College Enrollment. “The University is pursuing numerous avenues to try to offer the best financial aid possible, including the successful Odyssey Scholarship Program and increased use of the University endowment.”

    Funded in part by an anonymous $100 million gift from an alumnus, the Odyssey Scholarship Program was established in 2007, launching a $400 million student-aid fundraising initiative at Chicago. Odyssey has allowed the University to reduce student loans for undergraduate students whose family incomes are less than $75,000. The first awards were made for the 2008–2009 academic year.

    “We awarded $66.9 million in University funds to undergraduates for the current school year, $4.1 million of which is from the Odyssey Scholarship,” said Alicia Reyes, Director of College Aid. “We would like to express gratitude to our generous donor who made it possible to help low- and moderate-income students achieve a Chicago education.”

    This year, approximately 46 percent of College students received need-based aid, including government and privately funded awards. These students are expected to contribute an average of $7,055 from a combination of student assets, work and loans. The average loan expectation is $2,716.