MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — The Middlebury Board of Trustees has approved an increase of 4.7 percent, or $2,871, for annual undergraduate tuition, room and board charges for the 2016-2017 academic year. The increase will bring the cost for a year at Middlebury College to $63,917, including $49,648 for tuition and $14,269 for room and board. An additional mandatory student activity fee will increase by $5 to $415.

Middlebury’s financial aid program ensures that many students will pay far less. Middlebury is one of a relatively small number of colleges and universities that admits students without regard to their financial need or ability to pay, while also meeting the full demonstrated need of those admitted students. Middlebury’s budget forecast for the 2016-2017 academic year projects an eight percent increase in financial aid for the undergraduate college over this year, to more than $46 million. Middlebury College provides need-based aid to more than 44 percent of its students, with an average grant this year of more than $42,000.

The average debt upon graduation for Middlebury College students who take Federal and private loans was $17,797 for students who completed their degrees in May 2015.

Middlebury annually benchmarks its fees against a list of 20 other national liberal arts colleges, and with the increase next year, the College’s tuition and room and board charges are likely to be right at the midpoint among peer schools.

“Middlebury College remains committed to ensuring that its student body is diverse and representative of all socioeconomic levels,” said Middlebury President Laurie L. Patton. “That is a guiding principle for us.”

At the same time, Patton also noted that Middlebury faces cost and revenue challenges similar to many other institutions across the country. Those include rising faculty and staff benefit costs, investments in new programs that broaden the educational experiences of students, increases in financial aid, and maintaining a low faculty-student ratio.

“We will continue to control our costs and find efficiencies where we can,” said Patton. “It’s the only way we can ensure that the resources will be available to innovate and invest in our students, staff, and faculty. Creative thinking on both the revenue and the expense side of the non-profit higher education enterprise is a must in this environment.”