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Photo: Mario Tama/2010 Getty Images

After much consideration and at least one protest occupation, the free education at Cooper Union in the East Village will end for incoming freshmen in the fall of 2014, after more than 100 years. Instead they'll pay half of the full price tag, valued last year at $38,550, and the rest will be subsidized, the board of trustees announced today. "Tuition being charged is not gravy. This is money that is necessary to keep us going," chairman Mark Epstein told students and faculty today. "The free air and water," he said in reference to the school's motto, "turned out to be a myth." But learning to speak so vibrantly: Priceless.