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New budget increases financial aid for Duke students

A $2 billion budget increases funds for financial aid by 18.8 percent and undergraduate tuition by 4.8 percent.

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Duke University
DURHAM, N.C. — Duke University trustees voted on Saturday to approve a $2 billion budget that designates more money for financial aid.

Undergraduate tuition, fees, room and board will rise 4.8 percent to $47,985 for each student for the 2008-2009 fiscal year beginning July 1. Revenues and expenditures are both up about 9 percent.

The budget gives $86.4 million – an 18.8 percent increase – to financial aid for undergraduates. Officials estimate it will go to 2,500 students from lower- and middle-income families.

"(The budget) makes it possible for any outstanding undergraduate to attend Duke, regardless of his or her ability to pay,"  Provost Peter Lange, the university's top academic official, said in a news release.

"It then allows us to provide an outstanding on-campus education and to offer students opportunities to take the knowledge they gain in the classroom and use it in service of society throughout the world," Lange continued.

"In doing so, learning is enhanced through experience and the campus culture, enriched."

The budget eliminates the parental contribution for families with incomes under $60,000 and loans for families with incomes under $40,000, along with reducing loans for families with incomes up to $100,000 and capping loans for families with incomes above $100,000.

Endowed merit scholarships will also be increased to cover the full cost of tuition, fees, room and board.

Duke is one of about two dozen private universities to offer need-blind admissions for U.S. students. The university guarantees that it will meet the demonstrated financial need of all admitted students.

About 45 percent of Duke students received financial aid, and the need-based aid packages averaged $25,000 in 2006-2007, the most recent year for which totals have been finalized.

Tuition and fees account for about 25.5 percent, or $510 million, of the revenues. Grants and contracts will provide $753.5 million, which will cover about 70 percent of the university's expenditures for research. Gifts, investment incomes and other sources will supply the remainder of the budget.

To meet the university's strategic goals, the budget also provides for faculty support and development; academic, interdisciplinary and research initiatives; new curricular and student-life efforts; and student facilities and technology resources.

Support the arts and community initiatives takes place through such programs as the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership.

“The budget does a great job of supporting the university’s values and priorities,” Lange said. “It provides the support needed to continue strengthening our faculty, using innovative hiring processes to attract and retain the finest faculty in areas of strategic priority."


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