Cooper Union College That Hosted Lincoln Will Charge Tuition

Cooper Union, a New York City college founded in 1859, will for the first time begin charging undergraduates tuition.

The change was adopted last week by the Board of Trustees to ensure the college’s long-term survival, Cooper Union said in a statement on its website. The school, which will begin charging the class entering in 2014, will maintain need-blind admissions and offer some full scholarships based on need, it said.

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art was founded by Peter Cooper, an industrialist who wanted his college to serve New York’s working classes. In its inaugural year, the school hosted a speech by Abraham Lincoln that Lincoln later said helped him win the White House the next year. The college, which offers undergraduate and master’s degrees in architecture, fine arts and engineering, is projecting a $12 million annual deficit, according to its statement.

“Full tuition scholarships have been central to our policy,” the school said in the statement. “We found no viable solutions that would enable us to maintain the excellence of our programs without an alteration of our scholarship policy.”

The college, in Manhattan’s East Village, said it will reduce its full-tuition scholarships by 50 percent. Tuition for 2012-2013 is $19,275 per semester with all undergraduates receiving a full scholarship, according to the website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Oliver Staley in London at ostaley@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lisa Wolfson at lwolfson@bloomberg.net

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