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St. Lawrence approves tuition hike

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CANTON – The St. Lawrence University Board of Trustees on Saturday approved a 3.7 percent increase in tuition and room and board for the 2013-14 academic year.

The university’s comprehensive fee for the year will be $57,900, an increase of $2,065. Tuition and fees will rise $1,640; room and board will go up $425.

“I appreciate everyone’s efforts to contain costs, conserve energy, and develop innovations that uphold our mission and excellent reputation,” St. Lawrence President William L. Fox said in an announcement to campus.

The tuition hike follows another year of increasing expenses, said Thomas E. Evelyn, vice president for communications.

“Like other universities across the country, the cost of education goes up,” he said. “That is increase in cost of technology and maintaining facilities, as well as annual increases in pay and benefits for faculty and staff.”

Mr. Evelyn elaborated on the university’s efforts to reduce costs by implementing sustainablity projects designed to cut energy consumption.

“That is something we’ve aimed to do both because it is good for our environment and because it keeps costs down as they relate to our operating budget,” he said.

The school’s efforts include installing energy-efficient light fixtures and investigating the possibility of using geothermal energy to heat some buildings.

St. Lawrence University remains the most costly college in the north country, but the percentage tuition increase is among the lowest at the university in recent years and lower than last year’s national average, said Mr. Evelyn.

“We work very hard to keep those increases as small as possible,” he said. “Any increase is something we know our families have to look at in terms of how they support their students, that is why we’re very serious about providing a high level of financial aid.”

Most St. Lawrence students receive some form of financial aid. This past fall, more than 90 percent of the university’s undergraduates received support; about 88 percent received St. Lawrence gift aid. The average total financial aid package, including grants and loans, was $33,600.

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