Undergraduate tuition to attend Georgetown University for the 2020-21 academic year is set to increase by 3.5% from $55,440 to $57,384, marking the ninth consecutive year of tuition hikes.
Provost Robert Groves announced the tuition increase for the upcoming academic year in a campuswide email Jan 23. This rise in tuition follows the 2.8% increase observed last year.
Next year, Georgetown plans to make its largest investment in financial aid in university history, with more than $230 million dollars set aside for incoming students, according to Groves’ email. While the university works to minimize tuition increases each year, tuition rates must be set with the university’s commitment to offering a robust financial aid program in mind, Groves wrote.
“We maintain our deep commitment to attracting the brightest students regardless of their financial circumstances,” Groves wrote in his email. “We continue to prioritize cost containment efforts, and have renewed our commitment to securing scholarship funding.”
Georgetown follows a need-blind admissions policy, meaning that the university’s admissions process does not consider financial need when reviewing applications, according to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions website. The university also commits to a financial aid policy that meets all demonstrated need.
To mitigate the effects of the general tuition rise, the university has worked to cut fees charged in addition to tuition. For the upcoming academic year, the university has eliminated fees for science and language laboratories and course material fees, according to Groves’ email.
Previously, certain language and science courses had a fee associated with their lab or technology components. Students registered for science lab courses were charged $150 per course, according to the university’s revenue and receivables website. A language technology fee of $70 contributed to the operation of Georgetown’s Language Learning Technology Center, which supports students studying a foreign language.
In addition to these set fees, students enrolled in fine arts or performing arts courses often had to shoulder the additional costs of purchasing required course materials, which could range from $50 to $100 in cost, according to the university website.
Groves’ announcement of the upcoming tuition hike comes after a monthslong student-led push for a universitywide tuition freeze. Georgetown undergraduate students called for a tuition freeze in a Feb. 15 editorial in The Hoya. In October 2019, the Georgetown University Law Center Student Bar Association submitted a resolution to Law Center Dean William Treanor, urging the administration to approve tuition rates for the next academic year that match those from this year adjusted for inflation.
Since students are most directly affected by changes to Georgetown’s tuition, they should have a voice in the decision-making process on setting tuition, according to Georgetown University Student Association press secretary Harper Thomas (SFS ’22).
“The university administration has failed to solicit student feedback and participation in discussion regarding tuition rates and the allocation of funds,” Thomas wrote in an email to The Hoya. “We deserve to be aware of discussions surrounding the level of Georgetown’s tuition, and how that tuition money is spent.”
Tuition revenue goes toward a variety of university expenses, including educational instruction, financial aid and student services, according to a projection of expenses included in Groves’ email.
The university assesses a wide range of factors when considering whether to increase tuition, according to the university spokesperson.
“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,” the university spokesperson wrote in an email to The Hoya. “In setting tuition rates, the University must balance the competing needs of academic programs, students, faculty, staff, facilities, and infrastructure.”