University increases tuition for next year

Carnegie Mellon announced that the average undergraduate tuition rates for the 2014–15 academic year will increase by 2.9 percent.

This increase places tuition for incoming students and current first-years at $48,030.

For sophomore students, the tuition will be $47,560, and for juniors and seniors, the tuition will be $47,110. Tuition rates for graduate students are set at the program or college level.

This 2.9 percent increase in tuition is similar to the percentage increases made in past years, with tuition rising by 3 percent last year, and 4 percent the year prior to that.

The official communication sent by email detailing the increase also detailed that the housing fee for a standard double room will be $7,280, and the standard first-year meal plan will cost $5,120.

The email states that this new pricing results in a 3 percent increase in the total cost of attending the university.Some required payments by students, such as the activities fee and technology fee, are also higher this year.

The activities fee is rising to $242 in the upcoming year from the previous value of $194, the technology fee is increasing from $360 to $380, and the transportation fee is now $120 instead of $110. These various fees contribute in different ways to the student experience at Carnegie Mellon.

The official email sent by Vice President for Campus Affairs Michael Murphy acknowledged the financial burden that increased tuition places on families and students, but stated that this increase is “relatively modest” and “is consistent with our goal of containing costs and managing our resources appropriately.”

Murphy justified the increase by saying, “we will continue to invest in key priorities, including financial aid support for eligible students, and to work with you to maintain and enhance our uniquely vibrant and engaged undergraduate experience, just as you deserve.”

Students are frustrated with the continually rising tuition, and many feel kept out of the loop.

Although a campus-wide email was sent out about the raise in tuition, many students still feel like it’s unclear where their money is going.

“I would like [the administration] to keep me more informed,” said sophomore chemical engineering and biomedical engineering double major Liz Starck.

Starck said that she wishes the university would be more transparent. “Did they say anywhere what the money is going toward? Didn’t we get some huge donations recently? What is the point of this tuition raise?”
Starck was referring to the $67 million donation by David Tepper, announced in November on the day of President Subra Suresh’s inauguration.

Sophomore biology and psychology double major Su Baykal said that, for her, nothing could excuse this year’s increase in tuition. “[The increase] is definitely not justified. Unless tuition is divided by five, it will not be justified for me — even if they don’t raise it,” Baykal said via email.

The announcement also stated that undergraduate student fees include $120 for the Port Authority, $380 for technology, a $246 activity fee, and a $10 media fee.