Message From The President - Baruch College

December 1, 2011

Dear Baruch College Students, Faculty and Staff:

On Monday, November 28th, the CUNY Board of Trustees approved a multi-year plan to raise in-state, undergraduate tuition at CUNY by $300 per year for each of the next four years, effective Fall 2012 through Fall 2015.

As many of you know, public universities across the country have seen state support for their operating budgets reduced deeply, and repeatedly, and New York universities are no exception. New York State has faced large deficits and a continuing bad economy that has reduced tax revenues. As a result, CUNY has had to absorb a $300 million reduction in state support over the past three years alone. To compound the problem, previous tuition increases have been used to offset the State’s deficit. But this time it is different: for the first time, there is an agreement whereby proceeds of the tuition increase will go directly to CUNY for disbursement to the colleges for student support services and the hiring of faculty.

The senior leaders of the College and I fully recognize that this increase may well impose a financial burden for many students, and especially for those who are paying their own way through college or whose families do not have significant financial means. We are committed to assisting our students and their families as they develop multi-year financial plans to adjust to the annual increase in tuition. Baruch’s Office of Financial Aid Services provides counseling to students who seek assistance, and the staff of the Office of Student Affairs is available to answer any questions. Information is available by calling (646) 312-1360, or by visiting http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/financialaid/.

I want to take this opportunity to offer some additional information and to reinforce our on-going commitment to keeping Baruch College accessible while maintaining its traditional academic excellence. To provide you with some perspective, in the preceding academic year, 7,794 students at Baruch College received an estimated $44.3 million in combined, need-based federal Pell grants and New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) awards, thereby helping to keep a college education within reach for a record number of students. Indeed, that financial aid enabled more than 6,000 students, or 35.5% of the College’s undergraduate student body, to attend Baruch tuition-free. Another 43.8% had at least half their tuition covered by TAP and Pell grants, and they were eligible for a federal tax credit covering the balance of their tuition. As a result of aggressive fundraising and alumni relations, students at Baruch College also receive approximately $1.2 million each year in merit- and need-based financial aid from the Baruch College Fund.

The net result is that Baruch is not only still affordable, but it also continues to improve as a result of critical investments in its academic infrastructure. In fact, even with the tuition increased, Baruch College is still one of the best higher education values in the United States. And this assertion is supported by the fact that the Education Trust, a private research and advocacy group, recently named Baruch College one of only five, 4-year colleges in the nation (out of more than 1,200 surveyed) that is doing a good job serving low-income students. In addition, Forbes Magazine ranks Baruch #21 among "Best College Buys"; and at the graduate level, U.S. News & World Report places our MBA program at #1 in value upon graduation.

There is substantial evidence that investment in higher education pays significant dividends throughout one’s professional and personal life. Baruch College is proud to be a part of that equation, and we remain committed to providing the best educational experience possible for every student at Baruch College.

Mitchel Wallerstein
President, Baruch College

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