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Judge Asked to Stop Free New York College’s Tuition Plan

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A storied New York college is facing off in court with students and faculty who want to stop it from charging undergraduate tuition for the first time in over a century.

Friday’s hearing comes as Cooper Union prepares to start collecting tuition for this fall’s term.

The 155-year-old school is renowned for its architecture, arts and engineering programs and its own history. Abraham Lincoln gave a famous anti-slavery speech there in 1860. The NAACP held its first public meeting there in 1909.

Undergraduates paid tuition before 1902. Trustees voted last year to start charging it again, citing multimillion-dollar deficits.

But some students and professors say the financial crunch stems from mismanagement and could be solved in other ways.

The two sides dispute whether the school’s charter requires free tuition.

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