Johns Hopkins Gazette: March 10, 1997

Tuition Rates
Announced for 1997-98

Increase: Brody, trustees
express concern about
"net cost" of college tuition.
The university's benchmark tuition, charged to Homewood undergraduates and all Hopkins Ph.D. candidates, will rise 4.6 percent this fall to $21,700, the lowest percentage increase in nine years.

The increase of $960 from the current $20,740 was approved by the board of trustees at its February meeting.

The 1997-98 academic year will be the first since 1988-89 that the benchmark tuition has increased by less than 5 percent. The percentage increase has hovered at or just above 5 percent for the past four years.

The university's five-year financial plan had contemplated two more annual tuition increases at 5 percent. But President William R. Brody and members of the board of trustees have raised concerns about the rising "net cost" of a college education, that is, the difference between the tuition "sticker price" and available financial aid dollars for those who need them.

Brody, speaking to the trustees before the vote, called preserving the affordability of education "our biggest challenge."

"We have to meet it head-on in every way we can," Brody said.

Brody, throughout the early months of his presidency, has said that concerns over affordability threaten to drive some students away from higher education. The need to keep the cost of education within reach is one of the major reasons universities will have to reconfigure themselves and components like their libraries in coming years, he said in his Feb. 23 inaugural address.

Provost Steven Knapp, responding to questions before the trustee vote Feb. 24, said that the consumer price index--often cited as a comparison point for price increases in other sectors of the economy--is not a good yardstick for higher education. Tuition at colleges and universities is rising faster than the CPI, he said, because of the high cost of such necessities as computerization, library acquisitions and student services.

Because of federal antitrust law, universities cannot exchange advance information on future tuition and fees. This year, however, Hopkins tuition is anywhere from about $200 to about $1,500 lower than all eight Ivy League universities, the University of Chicago and MIT.

The new $21,700 benchmark tuition will apply also to full-time graduate students in Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Public Health, doctoral students at SAIS, doctoral and some master's degree students at Nursing, and Ph.D. students in Medicine.

At the School of Medicine, where M.D. students pay the same tuition in each of their four years, the rate for entering students will be $23,800, up 4.4 percent.

Tuition increases in other full-time degree programs range from a low of 3 percent, to $20,600, for master's degree students at SAIS, to a high of 5.8 percent, to $19,755, for all students at Peabody.

Tuition for part-time Continuing Studies master's degree courses in liberal arts and education in Washington, D.C., will remain at this year's level, $315 a credit hour. The largest percentage increase in part-time tuition is 12.9 percent, to $395 a credit hour, for master's-level business courses at the Columbia and Montgomery County centers.

Room and board for Homewood undergrads will climb 2.15 percent next fall, the lowest percentage increase of the 1990s. The total cost of tuition, a double room in the Alumni Memorial Residences and a 19-meal board plan will be $29,055, just under a 4 percent hike.

--Dennis O'Shea

Go back to Previous Page

Go to Gazette Homepage