Cornell Board Approves Lower Tuition for CIPA MPA Degree Program
February 27, 2014 09:00 AM
As part of the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA) administrative transition into the College of Human Ecology (CHE), annual tuition for students enrolled in the Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) degree program will shift in fall 2014 from a Tier 1 to Tier 2 level, as approved by the Board of Trustees at its January meeting. For the 2014-15 academic year, this will shift M.P.A. tuition down from $47,050 to $30,785 annually, in line with other public-service-oriented graduate degree programs.
From fall semester of 2014, the CIPA program will be joining the College of Human Ecology, a move that the CIPA core faculty approved in December, 2013. Human Ecology is a statutory college, whereas CIPA has been classified as an endowed unit previously. CIPA submitted a proposal to the Graduate School in June, 2013 to align its annual tuition rate with that of other service-oriented professional graduate programs such as the Sloan Program in Health Administration, which is based in the College of Human Ecology.
The rationale for reducing tuition is multi-faceted, with program affordability and competitiveness as key considerations. M.P.A. graduates typically pursue careers in the public and nonprofit sectors, where salaries are considerably lower in comparison to those in the private, for-profit world. Reducing tuition for these students will decrease the amount of student loan debt that M.P.A. graduates will carry, making the degree more affordable. The debt reduction should expand career options for alumni, as they will be in a better position to consider accepting a wider range of public-service-oriented positions that generally offer lower remuneration. This is consistent with Cornell University President David Skorton’s university-wide call for students to embrace public service and engagement.
Moving to a lower tuition tier will also make the Cornell M.P.A. more competitive with peer institutions.