For the 2003-2004 academic year, Harvard’s package of undergraduate tuition, room, board, and student fees will increase by 5.5 percent, to $37,928. Costs include: tuition, $26,066; room rate, $4,706; board, $4,162; health services fee, $1,142; and student services fee, $1,852.
The total cost to students will, as ever, be reduced by Harvard’s ongoing commitment to financial aid. Two-thirds of Harvard’s undergraduates receive some form of financial aid, including scholarships, loans, and jobs. For 2003-2004, the average total aid package will be close to $27,050, or roughly 70 percent of a student’s total costs, including an allowance toward personal expenses. Over the past five years, Harvard College has expanded its undergraduate scholarship program by more than $19.5 million, representing a 37 percent increase in need-based assistance. During this time, the average debt of graduating students has declined by over $4,000, to just $10,450 per student for the Class of 2002. The total aid provided to undergraduates for 2003-2004 will likely top $105 million.
“Harvard College is built upon the twin principles of need-blind admissions and need-based financial aid,” said William C. Kirby, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS). “At a time when universities around the country, and families everywhere, can feel the effects of a weaker national economy, we are determined to protect every student’s ability to come to Harvard, regardless of his or her financial background.”
Tuition revenue at FAS supports operating expenses, which include providing a residential environment, health care, security, libraries and athletic facilities, and salaries for faculty and staff. Tuition also funds ongoing FAS projects and priorities. Kirby has drawn special attention this year to a major review of undergraduate education, continuing development of science initiatives, renovation and construction of FAS spaces essential to teaching and learning, recruiting vibrant faculty, and internationalizing a Harvard education.