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The cost of attending Lafayette College will rise by slightly less than four percent next year as the College continues to control prices while increasing financial aid for students and investing millions of dollars to improve academic quality and student life.

Lafayette's tuition, room, board, and activities fee will total $30,035 in 1999-2000, or 3.96 percent more than the current year. The price of tuition alone will rise 4 percent to $22,844. The standard room fee will be $3,900, the 20-meal dining plan will cost $3,206, and the student activities fee will remain at $85.

Current fees are: tuition $21,964; room $3,715; board $3,126; and activities fee $85, for a total of $28,890.

The College has stabilized price increases during the six years of Arthur J. Rothkopf's presidency. For the last four years, tuition increases have been at or below 4 percent. In Rothkopf's first two years as president tuition increases were slightly higher (4.75 percent in 1994-95 and 4.36 percent in 1995-96) but still were the smallest percentage increases in tuition at Lafayette since 1968-69. In 1996-97 tuition rose 3.9 percent, the lowest percentage increase in 28 years.

While capping costs, Lafayette has dramatically increased the amount of money it budgets for financial aid, including both no-need “merit” awards and need-based aid. College-funded aid will increase by 11 percent next year, marking the third straight year of double-digit increases.

Lafayette will award more than $1 million in merit scholarships to 92 incoming students this fall, or 17 percent of the projected class of 540 students. Sixty students designated Marquis Scholars will receive a minimum annual award of $12,500 (totaling $50,000 over four years) or a grant in the full amount of their demonstrated need if the need exceeds $12,500. In addition, 32 students named Trustee Scholars will receive a minimum annual award of $7,500 ($30,000 over four years) or a grant covering their full need if the need is greater than $7,500.

“We understand that students and their families are deeply concerned by escalating college costs,” said Rothkopf. “Lafayette is committed to holding costs down while doing everything we can to improve the quality of every dimension of the Lafayette experience.”

Currently, 48 percent of all first-year students receive Lafayette-funded aid that fully meets their demonstrated need, with awards averaging $15,585 and ranging up to $30,000. This year the College's financial aid office administered more than $25 million in grants, scholarships, loans and campus employment aid, including $13 million in College-funded outright grants and scholarships.

Students benefit from more than 350 endowed scholarships funded by alumni and other supporters, and the number of scholarship funds is growing rapidly because of the $143 million Lafayette Leadership Campaign, which is scheduled to run until June 30, 2001. The largest single goal of the campaign, which is one of the most ambitious fundraising efforts ever undertaken by an institution of Lafayette's size, is to add $30 million to the College's endowment for financial aid.

Tuition and fees charged by the College approximate 60 percent of total educational costs. Therefore all students — even those paying full tuition — benefit from subsidies from the College's endowment and annual gifts from alumni and others.

The tuition cap and financial aid enhancements have occurred simultaneously with dramatic campus improvements made possible by the campaign, which has raised more than $115 million to date.

Examples include three major construction projects, totaling more than $60 million, that will improve both academics and student life. Lafayette is building a $25 million science complex, a $26.5 million center for intramural and recreational sports, and a $7 million residence hall. The College has also invested more than $1 million to equip classrooms with the latest in instructional technology, doubling the number of “electronic classrooms” on campus in the first phase of an initiative dubbed “The Year of the Classroom.”

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