Undergraduate tuition rates in the 2018-19 academic year are set to increase by 3.5 percent to $53,520 from $51,720, Provost Robert Groves announced in a campuswide email Wednesday.
The increase, identical to last year’s change, falls below the university’s earlier projections for 4 percent hikes through 2020. Tuition has risen every year since 2012, when full-time undergraduates paid $46,200 annually. The rate of increase has slowed slightly in more recent years. Last year’s 3.5 percent hike followed a 4 percent increase in 2016 and a 4.3 percent increase in 2015.
Groves emphasized greater support for students in the form of financial aid. Specifically, he committed to allocating over $200 million for financial aid next year, the university’s largest ever investment according to Groves.
Rates for housing are also slated to increase, according to Groves. Room rates for residence halls, upperclassmen suites and apartments will increase by 2 percent and rates for townhouses will increase 3.6 percent for single rooms and 4 percent for double and triple rooms.
Meal plan costs are set to increase by 4 percent from the 2017-18 academic year level, though students will be offered a range of new meal plans to customize their spending. The cost of study abroad programs will also increase to $26,670 from $25,860, in line with the overall rise.
“In setting tuition rates, we must balance the competing needs of academic programs, students, faculty, staff, facilities and infrastructure,” Groves wrote in the email. “We continue to prioritize cost containment efforts, and have renewed our commitment to securing scholarship funding.”
To fulfill its competing interests, the university expects to direct 43 percent of tuition funds to instruction and 21 percent to financial aid and graduate student support.
“We are actively working to minimize tuition increases, and we maintain our deep commitment to attracting the brightest students regardless of their financial circumstances,” Groves wrote.
Georgetown relies on withdrawals from its endowment – 5.6 percent of the total fund, according to the Investment Office – to finance scholarships.
Compared to the endowments of top 20 schools on U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities Ranking, Georgetown’s $1.484 billion endowment is the smallest. Emory University and University of California Berkeley, which rank directly below Georgetown, have endowments of $6.402 billion and $4.045 billion, respectively.
“Georgetown is one of only a few dozen colleges that maintain a commitment to a ‘need-blind, meet-full-need’ admission and financial aid policy for undergraduates, meaning that every student admitted to Georgetown through a rigorous selection process can attend regardless of their ability to pay,” Groves wrote.
The Office of the Provost, Georgetown University Student Association and Georgetown University Graduate Student Government hosted a roundtable on tuition in November to solicit student feedback and explain university expenses.
In his campuswide email, Groves acknowledged the burden on students inevitable in increasing tuition.
“We are very much aware of the significant investments students and families make to pursue a Georgetown education,” Groves wrote. “University leaders, faculty and staff take these investments seriously and work hard each year to reduce direct costs, increase philanthropic support for scholarships and mitigate rising expenses of providing a Georgetown education.”