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Global meltdown takes its toll on US varsities

Source: PTI
November 08, 2008 14:37 IST
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The global financial crisis has adversely affected the public and private universities across the US, which have resorted to measures like postponing construction projects, freeze on hiring and putting off planned capital campaign.

With endowment values and charitable gifts likely to decline, the process of setting next year's tuition fee low enough to keep students coming, but high enough to support operations, is trickier than ever, a media report said on Saturday.

Dozens of college presidents, especially of wealthy institutions, have sent letters and e-mail to students and their families describing their financial situation and belt-tightening plans, the New York Times said.

Arizona State University, anticipating at least $25 million in budget cuts this fiscal year -- on top of the $30 million already cut -- is ending its contracts with as many as 200 adjunct instructors, the paper said adding Boston University, Cornell and Brown have announced selective hiring freezes.

And Tufts University, which for the last two years has been one of the few colleges in the country admitting the best qualified applicants and meeting their full financial need, may not be able to maintain that generosity for next year's incoming class.

This winter, Tufts suspended new capital projects and budgeted more for financial aid. But with the market downturn, and the likelihood that more applicants will need bigger aid packages, need-blind admissions may go by the wayside, the Times said.

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