Harvard College tuition will rise 3.9 percent to $31,456 for academic year 2007-08, and need-based scholarship aid will grow by 6.8 percent to $103 million. The total package (tuition plus room, board, and student services fee) will be $45,620, a 4.5 percent increase over last year. More than two-thirds of the Harvard entering class receives financial aid (including scholarships, loans, and jobs), with over 50 percent qualifying for need-based scholarship assistance and an average total aid package of close to $34,000, bringing the average cost down to about $12,000.
“The priority at Harvard is that all qualified students can attend the College, unconstrained by their family’s financial circumstances,” said Jeremy R. Knowles, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “The increased level of financial aid that we are able to offer and the consequent economic and social diversity of our student body,” he added, “testify to our commitment to welcoming the most talented group of students to Harvard College.”
Need-based scholarship aid for undergraduates at Harvard has increased by 57 percent over the past six years, while the total package has risen by 44 percent. The median debt at graduation for those students who borrow has fallen to just $6,850 for the class of 2006, which is less than a third of the $20,000 national average debt at graduation.
The Harvard Financial Aid Initiative, which completely eliminates parental contributions for students from lower-income families, continues to have a strong impact on the socioeconomic diversity of the College. This year’s freshman class has 30 percent more students from lower- and middle-income backgrounds than the entering class of 2004. Parents of admitted students whose annual income is less than $60,000 are not expected to contribute anything to tuition and fees.