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Private Boston-area universities hike tuition by an average of 3 to 4 percent

Posted by Your Town  June 3, 2013 05:00 PM

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Local colleges and universities are hiking tuition costs by an average of 3 to 4 percent for next year, with some school officials calling the increases among the lowest in recent history.

Suffolk University has announced it will increase undergraduate tuition prices by 3 percent for next year, making it the smallest increase in 36 years.

The president of Suffolk University, James McCarthy, said in a statement that rates for the 2013 to 2014 school year will be $31,592, up $920 from this year.

"The undergraduate increase is built upon a base Suffolk University tuition that remains among the lowest of comparable New England institutions," McCarthy said in the statement.

At MIT, tuition and fees will cost $43,498, compared to $42,050 for this year, for a 3.4 percent increase. Officials called the hike among the lowest in recent decades.

And at Boston University, prices are expected to rise 3.7 next year to $43,970. In a statement, university officials called the new tuition price “one of the lowest rates of increase among BU’s peer universities.”

Among other local schools:

- Emerson College will raise its tuition by 4.5 percent, from $33,568 this year to $35,072 next year.

- Boston College plans to hike prices by 4 percent, from $43,140 to $44,870.

- Northeastern University’s rates will break the $40K mark -- from $39,320 last year to $40,780 next year.

But the University of Massachusetts system is pushing for a major increase in funding from the state -- an additional $39 million -- which could keep tuition rates at a standstill.

The Globe reported in late May that elected student trustees from the University of Massachusetts system are calling on Senate officials to approve a $478 million funding proposal from Governor Deval Patrick. If the proposal passes, UMass officials have said that the university system could freeze tuition and fees for next year.

Some schools are saying that the new rates will be offset by financial aid budgets that are at a “historic high.”

MIT officials said that the undergraduate financial aid budget has risen to a record $97.6 million.

“MIT has more than tripled its spending on financial aid since 2000 - a rate of growth that far exceeds tuition and fee increases during that same period - as part of the Institute’s ongoing efforts to shield students and families from the impact of price increases,” the university said in the statement.

And Northeastern University has announced that it will invest the largest amount of financial aid in the school’s 115-year history, providing a total of $204 million in grant aid for next year.

But other schools will be giving out financial aid to less students. For example at Boston University, approximately 53 percent of students will receive grant aid, which is down from 57 percent for this past year.

Katherine Landergan can be reached at klandergan@globe.com. For campus news updates, follow her on Twitter @klandergan.

Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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