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Well, I admit I'm a bit more familiar with the humanities, but in general masters programs work differently - terminal masters candidates, i.e. those not  doing the degree as the first stage of their Ph.D program, do have to pay. Back when I was applying the rule of thumb was that some private programs had a two tier system for those admitted into the doctoral program - some students getting a five year deal - no tuition, stipend, three year teaching requirement - some getting no aid - these have been being phased out. The others, including Stanford, gave full rides to everyone they admitted. The public ones generally had year by year financial aid systems - i.e. you had to reapply each year, with of course a teaching requirement unless you get outside funding.

 The ten billion btw, provides a good chunk of the operating budget which a quick google tells me was $2.6 billion (not including capital spending or hospitals). Just over half of that goes to salaries and benefits. Nineteen percent comes from students.  Sixteen percent comes from the endowment, another five percent from non-endowment gifts. With the long boom market and the somewhat related increase in giving, the endowment has been skyrocketing. But using a bit over 4% of the endowment for current spending, which I believe is pretty typical, doesn't sound that strange as a long term conservative approach. These are very wealthy institutions but they also spend absolute fortunes.

by MarekNYC on Sun Mar 26th, 2006 at 01:37:55 AM EST
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...they also spend absolute fortunes.

Sure, but on what ? The economics of top-level US academic institutions remain beyond the comprehension of my limited brain power. Sort of a "US DoD" syndrom, enormous expenditures, little pressure to scale them down and very modest delivery.
by Francois in Paris on Sun Mar 26th, 2006 at 08:12:26 AM EST
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