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As Tuition Rises 3%, Harvard College Raises Non-Contribution Threshold to Expand Financial Aid

The Harvard College Office of Admissions and Financial Aid is located in Radcliffe Yard.
The Harvard College Office of Admissions and Financial Aid is located in Radcliffe Yard. By Kathryn S. Kuhar
By Rahem D. Hamid and Nia L. Orakwue, Crimson Staff Writers

UPDATED: April 1, 2022 at 1:43 p.m.

Beginning with the Class of 2026, families with annual incomes under $75,000 will pay nothing to attend Harvard College — marking a $10,000 increase from the previous threshold — the College announced Thursday evening.

Families whose annual income falls below $75,000 will not be required to contribute toward their student’s tuition, room, or board and will receive a $2,000 stipend to offset move-in costs.

“We know that financial aid makes the most fundamental difference for applicants and their families,” Griffin Director of Financial Aid Jake Kaufmann ’93 said in a press release. “In increasing the no-contribution level, Harvard is continuing its efforts to open doors to excellent students from around the world.”

The move comes as peer institutions have also taken measures to improve undergraduate financial aid offerings. In January, Dartmouth College announced it would return to practicing need-blind admissions for international students, joining Harvard, MIT, Yale, Princeton, and Amherst College in doing so.

“We’re thrilled — I mean, quite honestly, really thrilled — to be able to raise the ‘free’ up to 75,” Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 said in a Thursday interview in reference to Harvard’s new threshold.

“It’s been quite an amazing 20 years, but it’s also been quite an amazing four or five years, when you think about the changes that have taken place just in the short run,” he said.

The College also announced a 3 percent increase in cost of attendance. For the 2022-2023 academic year, the cost of attendance will be $76,763. The College had previously raised tuition for the 2021-2022 academic year by the same amount.

Fitzsimmons said that the Admissions and Financial Aid Office evaluates its financial aid policies each year. The College announced in March 2020 that it would eliminate the summer work expectation for students on financial aid effective the 2020-2021 academic year.

For the 2020-2021 academic year, the College raised tuition by 4 percent, despite some colleges freezing tuition due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Every year we try to examine what it is that happened and how we can deploy our financial aid in a way that’s going to best help our students,” he said.

“We continue to try to be creative, and we continue to see where the needs are,” Fitzsimmons said. “I think [of] everything we do as a work in progress, not as anything set in stone.”

—Staff writer Rahem D. Hamid can be reached at rahem.hamid@thecrimson.com.

—Staff writer Nia L. Orakwue can be reached at nia.orakwue@thecrimson.com.

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