Northwestern to raise tuition

Bloomberg News
Published2/25/2009 10:34 AM

Northwestern University plans to raise tuition and cut its budget 5 percent after its endowment fell 24 percent in 10 months because of the global recession.

The university, in Evanston, will also delay construction projects to save $90 million through June 2010, President Henry Bienen said in a letter e-mailed today to faculty, students and alumni. Undergraduate tuition, room and board will increase 3.6 percent. The charges totaled $48,051 for the current year, according to the school's Web site.


Northwestern, ranked 12th among the nation's universities by U.S. News & World Report magazine, joins other schools struggling with falling revenue. Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is offering buyouts to 1,600 non-faculty employees as its plans for a 30 percent drop in its endowment, valued at $36.9 billion on June 30. Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, is cutting executive salaries to trim a $100 million shortfall for the next two fiscal years and said today on it Web site it will raise undergraduate tuition 3.8 percent.

"The major economic upheaval that we're now experiencing understandably creates feelings of uneasiness," Bienen, at Northwestern, said in his letter. "We cannot control the economic forces that are now sweeping the world. But we can consider thoughtfully the potential impacts of those forces and plan appropriately."

Northwestern's endowment, valued at $7.4 billion in April, has fallen to $5.6 billion, Bienen said. The school relies on payouts from its endowment for 18 percent of its budget.

Founded in 1851, Northwestern has about 15,600 students. Alumni include U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and the comedian Stephen Colbert.

In December, the school announced Bienen, who is retiring, will be succeeded on Sept. 1 by Morton Owen Schapiro, now president of Williams College in Massachusetts.

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