The Johns Hopkins Gazette: January 21, 2003
January 21, 2003
VOL. 32, NO. 18


Trustees Announce Tuitions for 2003-2004

University continues its recent efforts to keep increases below 5 percent

By Dennis O'Shea

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

Tuition for full-time undergraduates at the Homewood campus will increase 4.9 percent this fall, representing a continuation of the university's efforts in recent years to rein in the larger tuition hikes of the early 1990s and before.

The tuition rate for 2003-2004 will be $28,730, up $1,340 from this year's figure. It applies to the just over 4,000 full-time undergraduates in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Whiting School of Engineering. The board of trustees approved the new rate at its December meeting, along with next year's tuition for all other Johns Hopkins programs (see box, below).

Full-time undergraduate tuition increases in the two schools have been below 5 percent for five of the past seven years; the only exceptions were years when charges to operate the new Mattin and O'Connor Recreation centers were built into the rate structure.

Prior to that seven-year run, tuition increases had exceeded 5 percent for 22 straight years, hitting 10 percent or more seven times during that span.

"The administration, under the direction of the board of trustees, stands committed to holding tuition increases to a level below those of the early 1990s and before," said Dan Weiss, dean of the Krieger School. "That, combined with our increased emphasis on financial aid in both our budgeting process and fund-raising efforts, has helped to minimize the impact of increased costs on our students and their families."

Ilene Busch-Vishniac, dean of the Whiting School, noted that last year's tuition increase was the fourth smallest--in both percentage and dollars terms--among a group of 18 peer universities. The group includes the entire Ivy League, and universities such as MIT, Stanford, Chicago, Duke and Georgetown.

"That relatively small increase dropped our total tuition from ninth in the peer group last year to 11th this year," Busch-Vishniac said.

Most colleges and universities have not yet announced their tuition for next year, so it is not yet possible to know where Johns Hopkins will wind up in the peer group in 2003-2004.

What is known is that financial aid will cut the true cost of next year's education at Johns Hopkins for many undergraduates well below the $28,730 "sticker price." This year, 55 percent of Homewood undergrads receive need-based aid, and 47 percent receive grants from the university's own funds. This year's total financial aid package from all sources--university funds, federal grants and loans, and private or other aid--is $52 million.

Since 1999-2000, the university--working with a gift from former trustee chairman Michael R. Bloomberg, now mayor of New York City--has been increasing the grant portion of financial aid packages and decreasing loans. This year's seniors on financial aid will graduate with an average debt of just $13,600, well below that of the four previous classes.

The Breakdown by School and Program

Tuition increases for next year for most Johns Hopkins students are generally 5 percent or less.

One exception is tuition for graduate business programs offered at the Washington Center and Montgomery County Campus. Those rates will rise $50 a credit hour, or 9.4 percent, to $580. At that level, tuition for Johns Hopkins business programs is expected to remain lower than that charged by competing universities in the Washington area.

The rate for full-time graduate students in Arts and Sciences and Engineering will, like that for undergrads in the two schools, rise $1,340, or 4.9 percent, to $28,730. But the graduate students also will be charged a $600 health insurance fee in the second year of a three-year phase-in of health insurance coverage for those students. In many cases, the tuition and fees for graduate students in the two schools is paid for from research grants or departmental funds.

Next year's tuition rates for each school and program are available online at