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University yearly cost hits $44,477

Kate Antonacci | Friday, February 16, 2007

The price of a Notre Dame education just got a little steeper – $2,340 steeper to be exact.

The University announced Thursday that tuition for undergraduates will increase 5.4 percent for the 2007-08 school year – up nearly $2,500 from the current academic year’s bill.

Decided at the winter Board of Trustees meetings, the total cost for a year of undergraduate education will be $44,477, including $35,187 for tuition and $9,290 for average room-and-board rates.

Tuition increases for the other schools connected with Notre Dame are 5.4 percent as well, bringing costs for the Graduate School to $35,580 and both the Law School and Master’s of Business Administration Program to $35,490.

This year’s increase signals a small percentage decrease in comparison to year’s past. While the 2006-07 academic year saw a 5.8 percent increase, the 2005-06 academic year saw a 7 percent rise, slightly higher than 2004-05’s 6.9 percent and 2003-04’s 6.5 percent increases. The 2001-02 and 2002-03 rises, however, were the lowest the University had seen in 40 years at 4.5 percent.

University President Father John Jenkins announced the tuition hike to parents and guardians of students returning next year in a letter mailed last week. In the letter, he explained that Notre Dame needed to deal with the “fiscal challenges” faced by all universities.

He explained that Notre Dame needed the revenue from higher educational costs to address the “wages of more than 4,000 University employees” and the “acceleration of technological change.”

Jenkins also attributed the increase to the University’s commitment to maintaining existing facilities and opening new ones, such as the new Jordan Hall of Science.

In the letter, Jenkins also affirmed that the University “strives to negotiate these obstacles while continuing to provide the unique educational experience so widely admired by our peers and so keenly cherished by our graduates.”

While addressing the continuing concerns parents, University officers and trustees have about finances, Jenkins said that the success of Notre Dame graduates and the high retention rate points to the high performance of the University.

The University has a retention rate of 98 percent from freshman to sophomore year. Ninety-six percent of students graduate on time and 99 percent of graduates pursuing “jobs, graduate school or volunteer service are able to find career opportunities within one year or less of graduation,” according to a University press release.

“Beyond graduation, our success is further demonstrated by the fact that 92 percent of our alumni indicate that they are pleased with their time at Notre Dame and found great value in the experience,” Jenkins said.