Campus News

Bowdoin College Board of Trustees Approves Increases in Tuition and Student Aid

Story posted March 15, 1998


BRUNSWICK, Maine -- The Bowdoin College Board of Trustees Friday unanimously approved a 4.0 percent increase in student comprehensive fees, the lowest increase in 25 years. Trustees also voted to increase the student financial aid budget by 6.6 percent for the 1998-99 academic year.

The fee and financial aid figures were approved as part of a $71.3 million balanced budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, up 4.8 percent from the $68 million budget for the current 1997-98 fiscal year. The comprehensive fee, which includes tuition, room, board and student fees, will rise to $30,180 from $29,020 for the 1997-98 academic year. It is the lowest percent increase in comprehensive fees since the 1972-73 academic year. Last year, Bowdoin increased the comprehensive fee 4.5 percent.

The student aid budget will increase to $9.8 million next year from $9.2 million this year to meet an ever-growing need for financial assistance for Bowdoin students. Financial aid is one of the most rapidly growing areas of College expenditures, growing at an average annual rate of 6.9 percent over the last five years. That compares to 4.7 percent growth in total college educational expenditures over the same period. Student aid now accounts for 13.7 percent of Bowdoin's total budget, up from 11.2 percent in 1994-95.

Approximately 38 percent of Bowdoin's 1,550 students receive financial aid. The average financial aid package, which includes loans, grants and on-campus earnings, will be $17,816 for the 1998-99 academic year, up from $17,025 this year.

As a result of the increase in financial aid, Bowdoin expects to maintain its policy of need-blind admissions practices for the Class of 2002. Bowdoin has had need-blind admissions for the past four entering classes.

Comprehensive student fees do not cover the entire cost of attending Bowdoin. Comprehensive fees on average cover about 67 percent of the total educational costs. The remainder is subsidized by the College's $360 million endowment, annual giving from alumni and friends, and government and private grants. The Board of Trustees last year voted in an endowment spending policy that authorizes 5 percent spending for the 1998-99 fiscal year.

The 1998-99 budget calls for eight new staff positions and the reclassification of 12 temporary staff positions to full-time status. Funding for four of the new faculty positions, planned in 1993 when Bowdoin began a four-year plan to increase its student body by 10 percent, will be added. The new faculty positions are in the fields of biology, chemistry, Japanese studies and American politics.

The budget also calls for increased spending for capital improvement projects, information technology, and academic equipment.

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