The University of Delaware will increase tuition by 5.5 percent for the 2006-07 school year because of an increase in energy costs, employee health insurance and salary increases, officials said Monday.

Effective this fall, annual tuition for full-time UD undergraduate and graduate students will increase by $366 for residents and $920 for nonresidents. Annual rates will be $6,980 for Delawareans and $17,690 for nonresident students.

"The University of Delaware offers an exceptional educational experience at a very competitive price, especially for Delaware residents," UD President David P. Roselle said in a statement on UD's Web site.

"I don't want to see tuition go up, but I can see why," he said, referring to rising costs of university expenses. "In comparison with other schools, UD is a bargain. I have friends from out of state and it's still a bargain for them. UD is up there for being good and not being the most expensive."

Jaclynn Kozlowski, 20, a junior biology major from Newark, receives free tuition because her mother works for the university. But she still has to pay for room and board.

"A lot of my friends are from out of state, and people say that they should let us know when they raise tuition, instead of it being a surprise over the summer," Kozlowski said. "We'd rather have more advance notice."

Under the new rates, full-time graduate tuition will be the same as that for undergraduates, with the exception of in-state students pursuing the master of business administration degree. Those students will see tuition increase by $446 to $8,552.

At its semiannual meeting in May, the university's board of trustees also approved average increases of 4.5 percent for dining rates and 10.5 percent for residence hall rates, also effective in the fall.

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