Date: March 2, 2016
From: NYU President Andrew Hamilton

Last week, I presented budget proposals that will result in the lowest increase in cost-of-attendance at NYU in 20 years. In doing so, I made clear that those actions were the beginning, not the end, of what must be a long-term process of addressing affordability for our students and their families.

The challenge of college cost may be national, but the financial specifics vary across universities. While NYU’s tuition is not among the highest among its peer schools, when it is combined with room and board, NYU is near the top of the cost-of-attendance lists. In large part this is due to the reality that NYU has one of the smallest endowments on a per student basis, constraining our ability to mitigate the high cost of New York City housing and limiting the availability of financial aid (notwithstanding significant improvements in NYU’s total amount of financial aid over the last decade).

However, despite our constraints, we cannot be content with the status quo.

To help us develop ideas and chart a strategy, I have asked the group – named below – to serve as members of the Affordability Steering Committee. Its task will be to explore a wide range of strategies for reducing the cost of attending NYU while ensuring the continued upward trajectory of our research and teaching missions.

The Committee will be led by Ellen Schall, former dean of the Wagner School and currently Senior Presidential Fellow. I have asked that it deliver an interim report to me by next fall. Ellen will also be directing a working group – composed principally of administrators with responsibility for major operational units – that will work with the Steering Committee.

In the coming months, the committee will solicit ideas and input from members of the NYU community as it analyzes the feasibility and impact of various strategies.

Affordability will be one of the most important, complex, and pressing challenges we face in the coming years. I have confidence that the Affordability Steering Committee, drawing on the ideas and expertise in our community and elsewhere, will develop ideas that will make NYU more affordable for more students without harming academic quality or impairing NYU’s momentum.

Affordability Steering Committee


Ellen Schall, Senior Presidential Fellow and Martin Cherkasky Professor of Health Policy and Management


Dominic Brewer, Professor of Education, Economics, and Policy, and Gale and Ira Drukier Dean, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Thomas Carew, Professor of Neural Science, and Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science; Chair, Deans Council
Geeta Menon, Abraham Krasnoff Professor of Global Business and Professor of Marketing, and Dean of the Undergraduate College, Leonard N. Stern School of Business


Awam Amkpa, Associate Professor of Undergraduate Drama, Tisch School of the Arts; Vice Chair, Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty Senators Council
Allen Mincer, Professor of Physics, Faculty of Arts and Science; Chair, Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty Senators Council
David Stasavage, Julius Silver Professor of Politics and Chair of Department of Politics, Faculty of Arts and Science
Susan Stehlik, Clinical Associate Professor of Management Communication, Leonard N. Stern School of Business; Steering Committee Member, Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty Senators Council


Caterina Dacey-Ariani, College of Arts and Science; Global Vice-Chair, Student Senators Council
Erica Silverman, Gallatin School of Individualized Studies; MPA candidate, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; Student Senators Council
Jay Kumar, Tandon School of Engineering, NYU Leadership Fellow


Carrie Prendergast, Assistant Director of Enrollment Services, Silver School of Social Work, Administrative Management Council