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Undergraduate tuition and fees will rise next year by 4.5 percent—marking the first time in the College’s history that yearly costs will be over $40,000, the College announced yesterday.
The hike in the overall cost—which brings tuition, room, board, the health services fee, and the student services fee to $41,675—is the lowest rate of increase since 2001, when tuition and fees increased by 3.5 percent.
The increases from 2002 to 2004 averaged 5.2 percent per year, resulting in the present year’s term bill of $39,880.
Offsetting the rising term bill, the College also announced yesterday that it will increase total scholarships to $84.6 million—a 5.8 percent increase over this year.
When these scholarships are combined with loans and work-study, the average student aid package will total nearly $30,000.
“You don’t have to be rich, or even well-off, to come to Harvard,” Dean of the Faculty William C. Kirby said in a press release. “Harvard can do its part to alter the unacceptable disparity in economic background that characterizes the college-going population nationwide.”
Last year, the College said it would no longer require a parental contribution from families with yearly incomes less than $40,000, and reduced the expected contribution from families earning between $40,000 and $60,000.
As a result of these changes, the College said last year that the number of applicants for the Class of 2009 requesting to waive the $65 application fee jumped 57 percent.
In yesterday’s press release, University President Lawrence H. Summers said it was “gratifying” that students were responding to Harvard’s financial aid efforts.
“I am very pleased by the progress we are making in attracting into the applicant pool students from a wider range of economic backgrounds,” Summers said.
While Harvard’s term bill increase outpaced inflation, it is in line with those announced by a number of other Ivy League schools.
Princeton announced its total fee package will increase by five percent next year, Brown stated a 4.9 percent hike, and Dartmouth announced a 4.8 percent increase.
These three schools and Harvard will cost between $40,000 and $42,000 for the upcoming academic year.
While students have come to expect tuition increases yearly, some alumni have protested the consistent hikes, in light of Harvard’s sizeable endowment.
In a letter to Summers last January, eleven alumni from the Class of 1969 criticized the compensation of Harvard’s fund managers and then called upon the University to use the resources of its $22.6 billion endowment to freeze tuition for two years.
The letter called recent tuition increases—which have outpaced inflation—“needlessly and unfairly burdensome to current students at the College—and harmful to their generation as a whole.”
—Staff writer Nicholas M. Ciarelli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Staff writer Evan H. Jacobs can be reached at email@example.com.
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