First-Ever Tuition in Over a Century at Cooper Union

Undergraduate tuition is still free for now, but grad students at the presitigious engineering institute will start paying

1 min read
First-Ever Tuition in Over a Century at Cooper Union

Tuition-free schools are rare, but when it comes to a free exceptional engineering education, Cooper Union in New York City’s East Village is perhaps the only school that comes to mind. If you’re one of the lucky few to be accepted, you’ve gotten your ticket to a great career. And thanks to a huge endowment, students have paid zip for tuition since 1902.

But that’s about to change. On Tuesday, in a campus-wide letter, the president said that beginning this fall the school will be charging graduate students. The school also plans to start some graduate programs, including master’s, professional and online programs, to increase revenue. For now, current undergraduate students and those starting in 2013 are guaranteed free tuition, but he could not promise that would continue to be the case.

Industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper founded the institution in 1859 with the primary intent of making education free for working-class students. Students protesting the school’s decision to charge tuition for graduate programs called attention to this mission and tradition.

There is controversy about Cooper Union’s finances and some say that the school’s management and trustees can’t be trusted. Whatever the case, the cost of higher-ed degrees has been rising at a rate faster than the inflation rate, and, while others are making worthy efforts, Cooper Union is one of the last remaining prestigious institutions that offer full merit-based scholarships. It will be sad to see that lost.

PHOTO: watz, Flickr

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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