Harvard University is one of the top universities in the world. However, the Harvard University cost of tuition keeps many potential applications from applying. Competition to get into these schools is fierce, and the acceptance rates are low. Despite this, if you meet the application requirements, you should apply.
Harvard University tuition is expensive. In addition to tuition, students have the cost of room and board, student services, and a health insurance fee. However, Harvard University’s financial aid options make education affordable to all students.
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In this article, we’ll look at Harvard University’s rankings with US News & World Report and Times Higher Education. We’ll also look at Harvard University’s living expenses, forms of financial aid and assistance, and everything else you’ll need to know in order to decide if Harvard is a realistic option for you.
Harvard University Rankings and Profile
- Accreditation: The New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
- Acceptance Rate: 4%
- Graduation Rate: 97%
- US News & World Report Ranking: #2 (National Universities)
- Times Higher Education Ranking: #2 (World Ranking)
Harvard University is an Ivy League university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This private institution is one of the world’s oldest, most renowned, and most prominent schools. It was established in 1636 as the first university of higher education in the US. While its main campus is in Cambridge, it has other campuses in Longwood and Allston.
Harvard has 14 colleges and schools for undergraduate students and 13 for graduate students. The nonprofit research university has 35,276 students. It has small class sizes and a student-to-faculty ratio of seven-to-one. Besides its undergraduate and graduate degree programs, it offers executive, certificate, and free and paid online courses for professional and lifelong learners.
How Much Does Harvard University Cost?
The Harvard University cost of tuition is $55,587 per year for undergraduates and $52,170 per year for graduates. It costs an additional $900 for books and supplies for undergraduates. The school doesn’t differentiate based on residency, so the tuition cost is the same for both in-state and out-of-state students.
Harvard University Tuition, Fees, and Other Expenses
|Expense||Harvard University Cost|
|Harvard University Undergraduate Tuition and Fees||$55,587|
|Harvard University Graduate Tuition and Fees||$52,170|
|Harvard University Books and Supplies||$900|
This tuition is higher than most schools in the US but on the same level as many private institutions and Ivy League schools. The school is expectedly expensive given the quality of education and the value of the degree in the world. Different payment options and financial aid options can help make the tuition cost easier for students.
Harvard University Living Expenses
|Expense||Harvard University Cost|
|Harvard University On-Campus Room and Board||$18,941|
|Harvard University Off-Campus Room and Board||N/A|
The on-campus Harvard University living expenses align with most US private and Ivy League schools. The school prioritizes the quality of facilities and amenities for its students to ensure they get the best out of the school. You can also consider factors like high demand being a reason for the high cost. However, this cost is still low compared to most other private universities in the country.
Cost of Living in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Harvard University is in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is officially known as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The state is the most populous in the New England region. It is known for many things, including being the location of two of the best universities in the world. Naturally, the cost of living in this state is slightly higher than the national average.
According to PayScale, the cost of living in Cambridge is higher than the national average, especially in terms of housing. Cambridge housing expenses are 215 percent higher than the US average. Other costs like transportation, utilities, healthcare, and groceries are 14 to 18 percent higher than the national average.
Cambridge is not only home to Harvard, but also Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Moving to this city is expensive, regardless of where you’re moving from, as it is generally more expensive than most other areas in the US.
Harvard University Financial Aid Statistics
Harvard University’s financial aid options help many students afford a school deemed expensive for the average American student. The financial aid options will help reduce the financial burden. The school offers full scholarships, federal aid, and student loans. About 55 percent of its students receive need-based scholarships, with every one in five students paying zero tuition.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 73 percent of Harvard students receive financial aid. Fifty-six percent receive grants or scholarships, 22 percent receive federal grants, 22 percent receive Pell Grants, and 15 percent receive other federal grants. Four percent receive state or local government grants or scholarships, and 56 percent receive institutional grants or scholarships.
Four percent receive student loan aid, three percent receive federal student loans, and two percent receive other student loans. Statistics show that loans are available to Harvard students, but most students attending this school may never need them. This is because better financial aid options are available to students than getting a loan.
Does Harvard University Accept FAFSA?
Yes, Harvard University accepts FAFSA. Prospective and current college students can fill out a form to apply for federal financial aid when they apply to Harvard University. The application will determine your eligibility for the type of aid available. Financial aid options include student loans, work-study programs, scholarships, and grants.
Does Harvard University Accept GI Bill Benefits?
Yes, Harvard University accepts GI Bill benefits. War veterans and their families can apply for the GI Bill benefits to pay for college, graduate school, and training programs. These benefits can cover up to 36 months of education for any private or public institution.
Is Harvard University a Yellow Ribbon School?
Yes, Harvard University is a Yellow Ribbon school. A Yellow Ribbon school is a school that accepts the benefits of the Yellow Ribbon program. The program provides the tuition and costs needed for veterans to attend private schools. This program forms part of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and you need to meet the program’s requirements to be eligible.
Harvard University Scholarships and Grants
- Joseph M. Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund. You can apply for this scholarship if you have been a resident student of Allston and Brighton for the last five years. It gives preference to undergraduate students who demonstrate an interest in volunteer or community service.
- Daniel A. Buckley Bequest, 1905, and Eliot B. Spalding Scholarship Fund, 2001. This scholarship is for graduate students who attended Cambridge, Massachusetts, public and parochial high schools. Those who award the fund look at a student’s ancestry, academic interest, and residency.
- Charles Downer Scholarship Fund. This is an ancestry scholarship restricted to students who are descendants of Joseph or Robert Downer of Wiltshire, England. Students whose surname is Downer or descendants of the Harvard Class of 1889 can also apply for this scholarship.
- Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship. This scholarship is for Harvard graduate students who are citizens of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK. It gives students a stipend to live on and covers tuition and health insurance. Students can renew the scholarship for a second year in continuing degree programs. It is awarded to 15 students every year.
- Summer Travel Grants. The Center for African Studies awards this scholarship to undergraduate students who travel to another country for thesis research, internship, volunteer work, or to study abroad. Students must be spending a minimum of eight weeks on the continent. The amount ranges from $2,500 to $5,000 and should cover round-trip travel and accommodation.
Harvard University Average Net Price by Income
|Family Income||Harvard University Net Price|
|$0 to $30,000||$1,754|
|$30,001 to $48,000||N/A|
|$48,001 to $75,000||$538|
|$110,001 and up||$48,113|
The table above shows the net price of Harvard University students based on family income. The school calculates the amounts based on tuition, expenses, financial aid, and scholarships. They derive the total cost by subtracting all forms of financial aid from the total cost of attendance. This includes tuition, room, board, books, supplies, and other fees.
How to Calculate Harvard University Cost
Students must consider factors such as residency, financial aid, family income, and assets to calculate Harvard University’s cost. To reduce the annual fee, apply for a financial aid program before or during your application process.
The university has a net price calculator students can use to determine annual costs. This calculator is, however, not to be used as an official payment rate as the cost may differ over time. The calculator requires different steps to determine your annual costs, including family information, income information, and asset information.
Is the Cost of College Too High?
No, the cost of college isn’t too high if you get financial aid and make an effort to save money. Harvard is costly for those paying the full tuition without financial support. However, the school has various financial assistance options, so most students who attend don’t pay the full tuition rate. Those who get scholarships may get to attend the school entirely free.
Harvard University Student Debt
- Students Receiving Federal Loans: 2%
- Median Debt After Graduation: $12,665
- Average Monthly Loan Payment: $127
Harvard designed its financial aid services so that only a select few students take student loans. Most students in this top university have multiple financial assistance options, like scholarships, grants, and employment. According to the US Department of Education, only two percent of Harvard students receive financial loans.
This is commendable, given that the annual student loan debt continues to grow yearly, with the average public university student borrowing at least $30,030 to get a bachelor’s degree. About 65 percent of college students in the US graduate with student debt, but just two percent of Harvard students are receiving loans.
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Harvard University Tuition Payment Plans
There are alternative tuition payment plans for Harvard students, such as the monthly payment plan and parent loans. The monthly payment plan allows students to pay a semester’s mandatory fees over four semesters per term. Students who choose this plan must pay a $35 mandatory fee per semester to be enrolled.
The parent loans plan allows a student’s family to take loans on their behalf. It could be a small amount to cover just a portion of the tuition or enough to cover the full tuition. Students in the Harvard Extension School also have an interest-free payment plan that allows students to pay in four installments each term. The accepted payment methods in the school are epayments, checks, and Western Union and Flywire Wire transfers. Students in the extension school can pay using credit cards.
Harvard University Graduate Salaries and Outcomes
According to the US Department of Education College Scorecard, the average annual earnings of Harvard graduates is $84,918. This amount is based on students who received financial aid while in school. According to the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health, the median starting salary of its graduates is $90,000.
According to Harvard Business School employment data, the median base salary of its graduates is $150,500, with most of its students in the consulting industry. The Harvard Kennedy School reports that 98 percent of its 2021 graduates were either employed or running for office at the end of October 2021.
Harvard Divinity School’s employment report shows that 71 percent of its 2020 graduates are already employed, with the majority working in the education sector. Harvard Law School had 594 graduates in the class of 2021. Of this number, 574 are employed, while nine are enrolled in graduate studies.
How to Save Money in College
- Set a budget. A budget can help you manage your spending and save more. Most importantly, set a budget you stick to by calculating your total expenses and having a list of priorities to help avoid the excesses.
- Fill out FAFSA yearly. Filling out FAFSA form every year will allow you to get financial aid from the federal government. You get student loans with cheaper interest rates than private lenders. You are eligible for financial aid from FAFSA for the year you fill out the form.
- Buy used textbooks. Textbooks are an essential part of college and are quite pricey. To help you save costs, buy used textbooks to help reduce your book expenses and save more money.
- Take advantage of student discounts. Most companies offer student deals for their products, including clothing stores. These deals allow students to buy products at a significantly reduced price.
- Get a part-time job (work-study). Applying for a federal work-study program or an employment opportunity with your school will help you earn money while studying. Often, work-study programs align with your major, which gives you work experience.
Is Harvard University Affordable?
No, Harvard University is not affordable. However, if you get financial aid from the school or government, you should be fine. The school tuition is expensive, and rightly so as it is one of the most prestigious schools in the world. However, because of Harvard University’s financial aid programs, students can attend the school as long as they meet the requirements and get accepted.
Harvard University Cost FAQ
Harvard costs around $200,000 for four years. This amount is for tuition and doesn’t include room and board, books, and supplies. However, if you get financial aid, you will pay significantly less, with some students paying zero tuition based on their financial needs.
One year at Harvard costs about $56,000 for undergraduate students. This amount only covers tuition. Adding other expenses may cost just under $80,000 per year. This is without financial aid. However, Harvard University costs will be significantly lower with financial assistance.
To get a full Harvard scholarship, you must demonstrate financial need. Most scholarships offered by the school cover 100 percent tuition. The school requests family income, personal income, asset information, and information on other financial aid you receive.
No, Harvard isn’t free, but you can get financial assistance to cover your full tuition and other expenses. If you do, you can attend the school for free. You can also get monthly stipends, depending on the kind of aid you receive.
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