Undergraduate tuition at Harvard will increase 3.5 percent to $33,696 for academic year 2009-10. Need-based scholarship aid is expected to grow to a record $147 million, an 18 percent increase over what was planned for the current academic year. The total package (tuition plus room, board, and student services fee) will be $48,868, a 3.5 percent increase over last year.

“Despite unprecedented economic challenges, we remain fully committed to ensuring that Harvard remains open to talented students from across the economic spectrum,” said Michael D. Smith, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and John H. Finley Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “Financial circumstances should never deter students and their families from considering Harvard.”

In December 2007, Harvard introduced a new financial aid plan that dramatically reduces the amount families with incomes below $180,000 are expected to pay. Families with incomes above $120,000 and below $180,000 with assets typical for these income levels are asked to contribute 10 percent of their incomes. For those families with incomes below $120,000, the parent contribution declines steadily from 10 percent, reaching zero for those with incomes at $60,000 and below.

This year, applications to Harvard College exceeded 29,000, breaking all previous records. For the upcoming year, the estimated average total aid package of close to $41,000 will reduce the average cost, including non-billed personal expenses of approximately $3,000, to an estimated $11,500 for those families receiving financial aid. Need-based scholarship aid for undergraduates at Harvard has increased by 155 percent over the past decade, reinforcing Harvard’s commitment to affordable education.

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