Students will once again have to reach a bit deeper into their wallets to pay for a Georgetown education next year after the university’s Board of Directors approved a tuition increase last week that outpaces the rate of inflation.

The board voted to increase undergraduate tuition to $35,568 for the 2007-08 academic year, an increase of about $2,000, or 6 percent, over this year’s fee. Undergraduate tuition has risen steadily in recent years from slightly under $28,000 during the 2003-04 academic year, when most of this year’s senior class enrolled as freshmen. Tuition also increased 6 percent this year from the 2005-06 academic year.

The Board of Directors also voted to set next year’s Law Center tuition at $39,390, an increase of nearly 6 percent over this year’s tuition, and Medical Center tuition at $39,958, a jump of 3.5 percent over this year’s.

Factoring in room and board and other expenses, it may cost a student up to approximately $50,000 to attend Georgetown next year, the highest in the university’s history. The board also voted to raise room and board rates by about 5 percent.

Provost James O’Donnell said in a statement provided by university spokesperson Julie Bataille that the tuition increase reflects the growing cost of many of the university’s expenses.

“This growth reflects the reality that many of our expenses continue to increase at rates higher than inflation – utilities, technology, insurance and financial aid, to name a few,” O’Donnell said in the statement. “We work hard to balance the need to limit tuition growth with the need to provide exceptional academic programs and services.”

O’Donnell also said in the statement that the university is working to address its ongoing budgetary concerns. Georgetown lost $14 million in the 2005 fiscal year, and has run combined operating losses of over $54 million since 2003.

“We are taking steps to manage our finances to address these ongoing challenges and, taking these needs into account, we will make sure that core elements of our next capital campaign include increasing support for financial aid, faculty and facilities,” O’Donnell said.

O’Donnell could not be reached for further comment.

Georgetown’s Washington, D.C., neighbor, George Washington University, recently decided to raise undergraduate tuition to over $39,000 for the 2007-08 academic year. GWU currently has the highest tuition of any major college or university in the country.

Patricia McWade, dean of student financial services, said that Georgetown’s tuition increase will not disadvantage underprivileged students who receive financial aid, since the university has a need-blind admissions policy, and will factor the new tuition rates into its formula for determining financial aid.

“The university is pledged to continue to meet the full needs of students,” she said.

– HOYA Staff Writer Michael Coleman contributed to this report.

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