Cooper Union Considers Charging Tuition

Cooper Union, the much-revered arts school known for being free of charge, might soon require students to pay tuition for the first time since the college was established in 1859.

The school, also regarded for its exceedingly competitive admissions rate (typically, 275 of 3,500 applicants are admitted), has acknowledged that it needs to find "new sources of revenue" in order to ensure its sustainability, according to the New York Times:

“Altering our scholarship policy will be only as a last resort, but in order to create a sustainable model, it has to be one of the options on the table,” Jamshed Bharucha, who took over as president [of Cooper Union] in July, said in an interview.


Bharucha emphasized that lower-income students and many middle-income ones would continue to attend free, and that none of the 900 current undergraduates would be charged. He said that if the school decided to charge tuition, it was not clear whether it would set its price comparable to those at other private colleges, $40,000 or more, or adopt a different payment structure.

Cooper Union's tuition stands at $35,000 per year, not including living and other related expenses, including student fees. However, the school covers all tuition-related costs.

The school plans to implement a task force to explore the possibility of charging tuition and other methods to ease the college's budget woes. According the Wall Street Journal, the school currently has a $16.5 million budget deficit.

What do you think about Cooper Union's possible plan to charge tuition? Weigh in below.