Harvard College has announced its fees for undergraduate tuition, room, and board for the 2005-06 academic year. Tuition is set at $28,752. Overall charges will total $41,675, an increase of 4.5 percent, including room rate, $5,148; board, $4,430; health services fee, $1,370; and student services fee, $1,975.
The cost to students and their families will be offset by the most generous allotment of financial aid in Harvard’s history. Harvard College will provide $84.6 million in scholarships for undergraduates in the coming year, representing a 56 percent increase over the past six years. Two-thirds of Harvard’s undergraduates receive some form of financial aid, including scholarships, loans, and jobs. For 2005-06, the average total student aid package will be close to $30,000, reducing the costs to students and families by roughly 70 percent.
“A Harvard education must be accessible to all our admitted students,” said William C. Kirby, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Edith and Benjamin Geisinger Professor of History. “Our increased financial aid program serves a very important purpose: Any qualified student, regardless of financial background, must feel confident in applying to Harvard. Harvard can do its part to alter the unacceptable disparity in economic background that characterizes the college-going population nationwide. Let me be blunt: You don’t have to be rich, or even well-off, to come to Harvard.”
Harvard further enhanced its commitment to financial aid last year with a new initiative designed to attract talented students from low-income backgrounds in greater numbers. As of last year, parents in families with incomes of less than $40,000 are no longer expected to contribute to the cost of attending Harvard for their children. In addition, Harvard has reduced the contributions expected of families with incomes between $40,000 and $60,000. As a result, applications from students requesting fee waivers (one measure of modest family income) rose by approximately 57 percent.
“I am very pleased by the progress we are making in attracting into the applicant pool students from a wider range of economic backgrounds,” said President Lawrence H. Summers. “We hoped that our low-income initiative would send the strongest possible message to families across the nation that Harvard is – really and truly – an option for exceptionally talented students whatever their financial means. It is gratifying to see that our message is being heard.”