Notre Dame’s tuition increase lowest in nearly a half century

by Dennis Brown

News Seal

Reacting to the economic difficulties faced by the families of returning and incoming students, the University of Notre Dame has set the percentage increase for 2009-10 undergraduate tuition and fees at its lowest since 1960, and the University has pledged to maintain its commitment to meeting the full demonstrated financial aid needs of all undergraduate students.

The 4.4 percent increase will bring undergraduate tuition and fees to $38,477. The average room and board rates will be $10,368, for a total cost of $48,845.

In a letter to parents and guardians of students returning for the next academic year, Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., said the University’s officers and trustees have been “actively assessing the impact of the recent financial crisis on the University as well as considering the subsequent stresses that these troubling times exert on many families,” adding that the University is “challenged, as no doubt you are, by the current economic climate.

“We are grateful that we have been able to hold the rise in student charges to the lowest rate in decades.”

Notre Dame remains steadfast in its commitment to meet the full demonstrated financial aid needs of all its undergraduate students. The financial aid program has been the highest priority in the University’s budgeting process in recent years, and that emphasis will continue. The amount of scholarship assistance offered by the University is more than $80 million this year, and it has increased for the past decade by about 13 percent per year.

In addition, Notre Dame is among a handful of private universities with an undergraduate “need blind” admissions policy for U.S. citizens and permanent residents, meaning decisions on applicants’ qualifications are made without considering whether they can afford to come to Notre Dame.

The University also remains committed to maintaining the quality of the undergraduate educational experience. Initiatives that are continuing priorities include:

  • Enhancing the quality of the faculty.
  • Increasing international study opportunities. (Notre Dame ranks seventh among major universities in the percentage of undergraduates who study abroad.)
  • Creating more opportunities for undergraduate students to engage in one-on-one research projects with faculty and graduate students.
  • Decreasing the student-faculty ratio in order to maintain small classes.
  • In his letter to parents, Father Jenkins added that the University will closely monitor the worldwide economic situation and pledged that Notre Dame will continue to “employ a fiscally conservative approach relating to our investments and expenses. This approach has served us well in the past and will position us to maintain our firm commitment to the University’s mission and values.”

Graduate and professional school tuition will increase by 4.5 percent, bringing tuition to $37,870 for the Graduate School and $38,860 for both the Law School and the Master’s of Business Administration Program.