Private colleges and universities are quietly announcing increases in tuition and fees crossing the $50,000 mark for the 2010-2011 academic year. Coupled with promises of increased financial aid, the boost in tuition is needed to cover continuing shortfalls in campus operating budgets.
This week, Harvard University announced that undergraduate tuition and fees for next year will total $50,724, an increase of 3.8 percent. According to a Harvard press release, financial aid for undergraduates will be increased by 9 percent, to a record $158 million for the upcoming academic year. “Harvard remains committed to a fully need-blind admissions policy that will enable us to continue attracting the most talented students, regardless of their economic circumstances,” said Michael D. Smith dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Harvard’s tuition increases remain roughly in line with other Ivies, including Yale, which announced tuition and fees totaling $49,800 or an increase of 4.8 percent; Princeton, which went up by 3.3 percent to of $48,580; Brown at $51,360 or 4.5 percent over last year; Penn at $51,944—3.9 percent more; Dartmouth to $52,275, up by 4.6 percent; and Cornell, which will increase by 4.4 percent for the university’s endowed colleges to $52,316.
Other private colleges and universities crossing the $50,000 threshold for the next academic year include Boston University at $51,120 (+3.7%), Carnegie Mellon University at $52,250 (+2.98%), Notre Dame at $50,785 (+3.8%), Washington University in St. Louis (+4.2%), and Stanford University at $50,576 (+3.5%).
Locally, both George Washington University and Georgetown have been over $50,000 for the past two years. This year, Georgetown tuition will go up by 3 percent and room and board will increase 2 percent for a grand total of $52,443. GW will remain true to tuition commitments leveling a 3 percent tuition increase only on incoming students leaving tuition and fees the same for all others.
While tuition increases at private colleges are not good news, they don’t approach the projections for public institutions. Florida college students could face 15 percent tuition increases for several years, and University of Illinois students will pay at least 9 percent more next year. Georgia’s 35 colleges and universities are planning a 35 percent tuition increase on top of a raise in student fees according to the Huffington Post online. The University of Washington will charge 14 percent more at its flagship campus, and in California, tuition increases of over 30 percent have sparked protests.
A four-year freeze on college tuition in Maryland is expected to end this year, but the increase is likely to be only in the range of 3 percent. Virginia schools so far remain mum on the subject, but increases are all but inevitable.