Middlebury College tuition going up next year

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College Board of Trustees has approved a tuition increase of 2.5 percent to $45,637 for the 2014–2015 academic year. This is the fifth consecutive year that Middlebury College has limited the increase in tuition to 1 percentage point above inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI increased by 1.5 percent in 2013.
The board also approved a 4.5 percent increase in the college’s room and board charge to $13,116. Total tuition and room and board for the 2014–15 academic year will be $58,753, compared with $57,075 for the current year — a 2.94 percent increase. The student activity fee next year will be $407, an increase of $12. The 2014–15 fees were approved at the trustees’ meeting on Feb. 22.
This year’s increase in total costs is expected to be one of the lowest among Middlebury College’s peer schools.
In February 2010, citing the need to control the cost of higher education, President Ronald D. Liebowitz announced that Middlebury College would try to limit increases in what was then called the comprehensive fee (tuition plus room and board) to no more than 1 percentage point above the annual increase in the CPI, as determined at the end of the previous calendar year. At the time, Middlebury did not itemize the tuition and room and board components of its fee.
Since 2010, Middlebury has seen its cost of attendance fall below that of many of its competitors. In the 2013–14 year, the college was 18th out of 21 peer schools ranked by total cost of attendance, including tuition and room and board charges and mandatory student fees.
At its Feb. 22 meeting, the Building and Grounds Committee heard an update on the upcoming renovations and winterization at the Bread Loaf Inn, the main building on Middlebury’s Bread Loaf campus in Ripton. The board approved the project at its May 2013 meeting. The college has asked for bids from several general contractors; construction on the $7.5 million project is expected to begin in the fall. The project will include work that is required to keep the building in conformance with safety and accessibility codes. The winterization work will allow the building to be used for academic and other purposes during colder months. Work is scheduled to be completed within 28 weeks so that the campus can open in time for the May 2015 Young Writers’ Conference at Bread Loaf.
In the fall of 2012, the college built and installed an $850,000 snowmaking system on five kilometers of trails at the Rikert Nordic Center, which is adjacent to the Bread Loaf Inn. Snowmaking extends the cross-country skiing season at the college-owned facility.
Meanwhile, the Middlebury trustees approved the establishment of an 11th summer Middlebury Language School: The School of Korean. The school is expected to open in the summer of 2015. Korean is one of the 20 most-spoken languages in the world, with more than 75 million speakers. Each summer about 1,500 students enroll in one of the Middlebury Language Schools, either in Middlebury or on the Mills College campus in Oakland, Calif.
Separately, Vice President for Planning and Assessment Susan Campbell Baldridge briefed trustees on the state of the online learning landscape within higher education. The presentation was a follow-up to the board’s discussion in December of a report by the Online Pedagogy Working Group. Baldridge provided examples of other institutions’ goals for engaging in online initiatives and showed how technology is employed in a spectrum of course formats, from traditional face-to-face classes to fully online courses and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). She also noted that institutions need to embrace technological innovations that enhance teaching and learning, and she identified pilot projects under way to employ these strategies in some of Middlebury’s graduate programs.
Trustees also approved a master plan for the Monterey Institute of International Studies campus in downtown Monterey, Calif. The long-term plan, which involves closing a portion of Pierce Street that bisects the campus, creating a central pedestrian mall, is still subject to approval by the city of Monterey. If approved by the city, Middlebury will initiate a planning process to create a timetable and financing plan for the project as well as more detailed architectural plans for the buildings and open spaces.
Board members also discussed the process for the upcoming presidential search, including the makeup of the search committee. Trustees expect to announce the members of the committee by late March, along with a timetable for the search. 

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