Undergrad tuition to rise 3.5 percent, aid nearly 8 percent

Tuition for full-time liberal arts and engineering undergraduates at Johns Hopkins will increase 3.5 percent this fall while the financial aid budget for those students rises almost 8 percent to a record $80 million.

The tuition increase, $1,590, will bring the 2014–15 charge to $47,060 for the nearly 5,200 undergraduates in the university's Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Whiting School of Engineering.

More than 40 percent of the undergraduate students in those schools receive grant assistance and do not pay full tuition. In fact, the average financial aid grant, $36,924 in the 2013–14 academic year, covers 60 percent of the total cost of attendance.

The total 2014–15 undergraduate aid budget for the Krieger and Whiting schools is $80 million, largest in the university's history and a 60 percent boost since 2008–2009. Ronald J. Daniels, the university's president since that time, has made undergraduate student aid a priority of his administration.

Student aid is also a priority for Johns Hopkins' current fundraising campaign, Rising to the Challenge. Already committed gifts include $100 million over 10 years (of a total $350 million gift) from philanthropist and former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a 1964 Johns Hopkins engineering graduate.

Tuition supports both ongoing costs and enhancements in the student experience, including an increase in the size of the Krieger School faculty; projects such as the recently completed Brody Learning Commons and Undergraduate Teaching Labs; and investments in student health and wellness, security, and other student services.

The Krieger and Whiting schools have now kept undergraduate tuition hikes below 4 percent for six straight years; those years represent the six smallest tuition increase percentages in 40 years, since the 1974–75 academic year. While restraining tuition increases, Johns Hopkins is also working aggressively to check the growth of expenses. Recent changes in employee benefits programs are projected to save the university a significant amount annually. The university is also controlling expenses by identifying, for example, more economical ways to purchase supplies and equipment.

Homewood room and board rates—for a typical double room and "anytime" meal plan—will climb 3 percent this fall, to $14,246. That will bring the total cost of attendance—tuition, room, and board—to $61,306, up 3.4 percent from the current academic year. A 3.5 percent tuition increase will also apply to the nearly 300 undergraduate musicians studying full time at the university's Peabody Conservatory. Their 2014–15 tuition will be $41,189, up $1,393 from the current $39,796.

The School of Nursing, with more than 400 full-time undergrads studying in accelerated programs, will increase undergraduate tuition by 2.5 percent. Tuition for the 13-month accelerated track will be $69,024 for the entire program, up $1,680 from the current $67,344. For the 17-month accelerated program, tuition will be $69,456, up $1,691 from the current $67,765.