University announces increases in undergraduate education cost, financial aid for 2012-13

The University of Chicago announced a 4.1 percent increase in the full cost of education for the 2012-13 academic year, accompanied by an increase of 4.3 percent in the University’s financial aid budget for undergraduates.

The total cost of undergraduate education next year will be $57,711; of that amount, $43,581 is for tuition, and $14,130 is for room, board and other fees. About 60 percent of College students receive aid based on need or merit, and for them the full cost of education is often substantially reduced. In the 2011-12 school year, about half of undergraduates received need-based aid, with an average total of $36,294 in grant assistance from all sources.

University leaders anticipate that more College students will qualify for need-based aid next year, in part because the College has seen an increase in the number of prospective students applying for such aid. One likely reason for that increase is greater awareness of the University’s financial aid offerings, including the Odyssey Scholarship program, which reduces or eliminates student loans for students from families with low or moderate incomes.

About 1,100 students in the College currently receive Odyssey scholarships. The program began in 2008 with a $100 million gift from an anonymous donor, and its vital role depends upon continuing donations from other supporters of the University, who so far have given $57.1 million in support of the Odyssey scholarships. More generally, the support of donations from many sources has helped increase financial aid fourfold over the last 20 years.

“We continue to invest in efforts to lower the student loan burden for students in the College,” said James Nondorf, Vice President and Dean of College Admissions and Financial Aid.

The total budget for undergraduate financial aid in the 2012-13 academic year is $98 million, including need- and merit-based aid. That’s an increase of 4.3 percent from last year’s figure of $94 million. The growth in financial aid will help students with low or moderate incomes reduce their student loan burden.

“We are dedicated to ensuring that all deserving students, regardless of their financial situation, will have the opportunity to take advantage of the transformative education that the University of Chicago has to offer,” said Alicia Reyes, Director of College Aid.