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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University March 24, 2008 | Vol. 37 No. 27
Trustees Set Tuitions for 2008-2009

Increase for Homewood schools is less than this year's

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

Rising operating costs and new student-focused initiatives have led trustees to increase next year's tuition for full-time undergraduates at Homewood by 5 percent. Tuition for 2008-2009 will be $37,700, up $1,800 from this year's $35,900.

The increase, which is less than this year's 5.9 percent hike of $2,000, applies to the nearly 4,600 full-time undergraduates in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the Whiting School of Engineering.

The board of trustees approved the new charges at its December meeting, along with next year's tuition for all other Johns Hopkins full-time and part-time programs.

The university in fiscal year 2008 increased slightly to fifth in tuition rate among a group of 17 peer institutions that includes the entire Ivy League and universities such as MIT, Stanford, Chicago, Duke and Georgetown.

Fred Puddester, senior associate dean for finance and administration for the School of Arts and Sciences, said there continues to be only modest variation in tuition levels among JHU's peer institutions, with the majority of the pack less than $700 apart.

Kristina Johnson, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said that the cost of a Johns Hopkins education--and how it affects the makeup of the student body--is one of the most pressing issues facing the university.

"Johns Hopkins is committed to diversity, including socioeconomic diversity," she said. "We want to continue to attract the best and brightest students, which is a driver behind initiatives like the Baltimore Scholars program that ensures that any student graduating from a Baltimore City public high school who is qualified to attend Johns Hopkins can afford to."

"Another important issue," she said, "is continuing to attract the best and brightest faculty to teach our students."

Puddester said that part of what is driving up tuition is increased operating costs, a factor with which many colleges and universities are having to deal, and a host of new student-focused services and initiatives that do not have permanent funding. Initiatives at the Homewood schools include the creation of a Study Abroad Office and the formation of a separate Office of Student Disability Services to meet the demands of a growing population of students with special needs.

In 2007, the Higher Education Price Index, which measures the inflation rate applicable to colleges and universities, increased by 3.8 percent for private doctoral degree-granting institutions. Comparatively, the Consumer Price Index increased by 2.6 percent over the same period. The HEPI rate takes into account such factors as faculty salaries, laboratory expenses and utility costs.

At Homewood, "typical" room and board charges increased from $6,340 to $6,618, and those for a 19-meal plan from $4,752 to $4,960. The estimated cost of books and personal expenses has been increased to $2,200.

Puddester said that the school's other sources of income have grown at a flat or modest rate, while expenses were increasing at rates in excess of the index. In particular, the Homewood schools faced a sharp rise in expenses that are not reflected in the HEPI index, such as security and new buildings.

Net tuition has grown much more moderately, especially in real terms, as financial aid has increased. Vincent Amoroso, director of the Office of Student Financial Services, said that the schools will continue to look for new opportunities, if possible, to increase the allocation to financial aid.

For many undergraduates, financial aid will cut the actual cost of next year's education at Johns Hopkins to well below the "annual cost of attendance." Amoroso said that among Homewood undergraduate families who qualify for financial aid, the median cost of attendance is typically half the "sticker price." For students with family incomes below $40,000, aid covers most of the cost of attendance.

About 45 percent of Homewood undergraduates received some form of need-based aid in 2007- 2008, with 40 percent receiving grant assistance from university funding. Financial assistance from all sources--university funds, federal grants and loans, and private or other aid--is roughly $63.3 million.

The university also has been increasing the grant portion of financial aid packages and reducing loans. Last year's seniors graduated with an average $18,500 in student loan debt, a number below the national figure.

Elsewhere in the university, full-time undergraduates at the Peabody Conservatory will pay annual tuition of $33,000 in the fall, up 5.1 percent from this year. Tuition at the School of Nursing for all degree programs increased by 5.8 percent, as did tuition levels at the School of Public Health. Part-time undergraduate tuitions in Engineering, Nursing and the summer program in Arts and Sciences will increase by varying amounts, up to 6 percent. Changes vary as well, according to programs, for the schools of Medicine and Education, SAIS and the Carey Business School.

For a listing of all 2008-2009 tuitions and financial aid statistics, go to the Information About Hopkins page at and click on "JHU Facts and Stats."


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