University News

Enrollment fee absorbed into doctoral tuition student tuition

Senior Staff Writer
Friday, March 2, 2012

The Corporation approved a recommendation by the University Resources Committee to eliminate the enrollment fee for doctoral students during its February meeting. In addition to tuition, doctoral candidates are currently required to pay an enrollment fee after their third year of study, which is calculated at 6.25 percent of the tuition price, according to the URC’s budget report.

Through this change, which is slated to come into effect for the next fiscal year, the enrollment fee will now be included in the price of tuition starting after the third year, said Matteo Riondato GS, president of the Graduate Student Council.

The distinction between tuition and the enrollment fee is largely titular and “mostly a formal change,” Riondato said.

The use of an enrollment fee is part of an older system, wrote Peter Weber, dean of the Graduate School, in an email to The Herald. He added that the Grad School is now well placed to eliminate it because of recent changes to the tuition scholarship applications for graduate students in their sixth year or later.

With this change, the burden will be shifted from the students to their sponsors. For most doctoral students, an external sponsor arranged by the University for students in their first five years paid the tuition, while the students paid the enrollment fee themselves. Sponsors will now pay the combined cost, Riondato said.

The URC does not expect the change to hurt students since students either have fellowships covering their entire tuition or pay for it through work as teaching or research assistants, according to the report.

“This is done to make sure that we get the most out of the money that (sponsor) institutions give,” said Riondato, adding students should not have a problem asking for more money from their sponsors. The URC expects the change to generate $258,000 more in revenue next year, according to its report.

“Since there is no adverse impact of the change from the enrollment fee, there has not been any negative sentiment,” Weber wrote.

This change will not stop students from pursuing a degree at Brown and “a well-defined path to fund the completion of doctoral studies is probably a plus,” he wrote. Many institutions do not have a comparable system, Weber wrote.

The Corporation also approved URC recommendations to increase doctoral student stipends by $1,000. This increase will cost the University $757,000. “Even with this increase, Brown’s graduate stipends will be at or near the bottom of those at peer institutions,” according to the report.