Total charges for attending the highly selective liberal arts college will be $29,450, including $23,600 for tuition and required fees, $2,950 for room and $2,900 for the full board plan. The current cost to attend Hamilton is $28,350.
"When setting the fees for next year," said Hamilton's Vice President for Administration and Finance Daniel J. O'Leary, "the trustees sought to balance the college's commitment to providing one of the nation's finest liberal arts educations with the financial constraints faced by many of our students and their families. Our goal was to protect the integrity of the academic program, while remaining affordable to current and future students."
O'Leary said Hamilton will add 6 percent to the financial aid budget, making $13.1 million in college-funded aid available for students in the 1998-99 academic year. "We have a commitment to remain accessible to those students whose academic preparation warrants admission to Hamilton," O'Leary said. Nearly 60 percent of Hamilton students currently receive financial aid. The average financial aid package, including college-funded grants, loans and work-study, is approximately $18,500.
In addition to increasing the financial aid budget, O'Leary said the added revenue will keep faculty compensation competitive with other selective independent colleges and enable Hamilton to institute a more frequent and more regular replacement schedule for Hamilton's growing inventory of computer equipment.
"Certainly the quality of the faculty is at the core of the educational experience, and we must protect that resource," O'Leary said. "At the same time, sophisticated computers and high-speed networks are increasingly fundamental components for the academic program. Computers and network electronics that are new today are obsolete in three to five years. The replacement program adopted by our trustees will ensure that our students and faculty have immediate and direct access to the most up-to-date technology to pursue their academic programs."
The 3.9 percent figure represents the lowest percentage increase at Hamilton since fees rose by 3.4 percent in 1973-74. It is the fourth consecutive year that total charges have increased by the less than 5 percent.
"We expect that Hamilton's rate of increase will be below the national average for the eighth consecutive year," O'Leary said.