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Harvard College Enrollment Costs Rise 3 Percent for 2018-2019

The Office of Admissions and Financial Aid is located at 86 Brattle Street.
The Office of Admissions and Financial Aid is located at 86 Brattle Street. By Amy Y. Li
By Delano R. Franklin and Samuel W. Zwickel, Crimson Staff Writers

UPDATED: March 26, 2018 at 3:10 p.m.

The cost of attendance for Harvard College will be $67,580 for the 2018-2019 academic year, an increase of about 3 percent—or $1,971—from the previous year, Harvard announced Monday morning.

Next year’s cost of attendance includes $46,340 for tuition, which also marks a 3 percent increase over the 2017-2018 fee. The more than $20,000 in other charges covers fees, room, and board. The Harvard Corporation, the University’s highest governing body, sets tuition charges each year.

The average cost of attendance—that is, tuition, fees, room, and board—for an undergraduate at an American four-year private university was $44,820 for the 2017-2018 school year, according to the College Board. The College Board also reported that the in-state cost of attendance at a four-year public university was $18,390.

Last year, the cost of enrollment at the College rose by 4.1 percent—marking the largest percent increase since the 2008 economic downturn.

The rise in the College’s “sticker price” follows a long-term trend of annual increases in the cost of a Harvard education. The inflation-adjusted price rose 31 percent between 1998 and 2015, according to a 2015 Chronicle of Higher Education report. Harvard’s total cost of attendance first rose above $40,000 in 2005, above $50,000 in 2010, and above $60,000 in 2015.

The cost of attendance has increased at a faster rate than inflation; growth in consumer prices has hovered around 2 percent for the past year. The median family income in the United States rose by 3.2 percent to reach $59,039 in 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Many College students, however, pay significantly less than the sticker price to attend Harvard. The majority of undergraduates receive some form of financial aid, and 20 percent of students—those coming from families earning less than $65,000 per year— pay nothing.

With the exception of Columbia, Harvard is the last university of the Ivy League to announce its tuition charges for next year. Of these universities, Harvard’s cost of tuition for the 2018-2019 year is the lowest.

The Harvard Gazette announced the University expects to spend more than $195 million on financial aid next year. Since the 2005 launch of the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative, the College has distributed more than $1.8 billion in grants to students with financial need.

The College will release regular decision admission results for the Class of 2022 on March 28.

This article has been revised to reflect the following clarification:

CLARIFICATION: March 26, 2018

A previous version of this article indicated that Harvard students on full financial aid pay nothing toward the cost of tuition. In fact, these students pay nothing at all.

—Staff writer Samuel W. Zwickel can be reached at


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