In April, right around the time America’s colleges and universities usually announce next year’s tuition increases, a strange thing happened. Forbes reported that the UMass network had joined a growing list of major universities that were freezing their rates, avoiding price increases and holding the line on tuition for at least the next academic year. The 26 colleges and universities in the University System of Georgia (USG) network weren’t far behind, nor were the University of North Carolina system, the University of Virginia, Arizona State University, Purdue University and many, many other big-brand institutions.
It was an acknowledgment of the suffering that students and their families endured during the pandemic — but not every institution in the higher education community was feeling so generous. Here’s a look at the biggest schools that are bucking the student-friendly trend and doing what they’ve always done: raising tuition.
Last updated: Aug. 10, 2021
The cost of tuition at Harvard in 2021-22 will be $51,143, up from $49,653 in 2020-21. When you include fees, room and board, the subtotal comes out to $74,528, up from the current billed rate of $72,357.
Although it’s the most famous and prestigious university in America, Harvard, surprisingly enough, is also one of the most affordable. According to the school’s website, the iconic Cambridge institution is more affordable than public universities for 90% of American families — although this is more down to their financial aid program than their sticker price.
University of California
The sprawling University of California system is now synonymous with an unfortunate new phrase: “forever increase.” Despite an outpouring of criticism, UC is going ahead with its plans to initiate indefinite yearly tuition increases, according to Cal Matters.
The current 2020-21 fee for incoming graduates is $12,570. That’s set to increase to $15,078 by 2026-27, with gradual yearly increases in between. Tuition for out-of-state undergrads will rise from $42,324 today to $50,814 in 2026-27. Nothing will change this fall, but the increases will start taking effect in 2022.
University of Notre Dame
A small private school in Indiana happens to be home to what just might be the most famous football program in college sports. If you’re considering an academic career at Notre Dame, you can expect to pay more in 2021-22.
Tuition is going up from $57,699 to $58,843. Board costs are rising from $15,984 to $16,304. Both price hikes represent increases of about 2%. While no one likes paying more, Fighting Irish brass reminds its students that it’s the lowest percentage increase in a half-century.
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A small private school in Washington state, Gonzaga is famous the whole world around thanks to its legendary NCAA basketball squad, with the men’s team going to every tournament since 1999.
It’s not a cheap school. In 2020-21, tuition at Gonzaga is $46,060, with associated fees and costs bringing the total cost to $64,802. In 2021-22, those numbers will rise to $47,560 and $66,661.
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For in-state residents, the cost of attending Penn State is $17,610 in tuition and fees in 2020-21 — and that already represents an increase of $450 over 2019-20 costs. Now in 2021-22, the cost of tuition is rising again — this time to $18,898. For out-of-state Nittany Lions, the price nearly doubles to $36,476. That’s a huge jump from $25,170, which was last year’s non-resident rate.
University of Mississippi
Currently, students at Ole Miss pay $8,718 in tuition — $19,488 in total for state residents and $35,760 for non-residents. In 2021-22, however, the cost of tuition at Mississippi’s most storied university is ticking up to $8,934. The total for in-state students is now over $20,000 — $20,432, to be exact. For non-residents, it rises to $37,274.
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In academic year 2020-21, the overall cost of attending Yale jumped by 3.9% to $74,900 — tuition alone was $57,700. In 2021-22, tuition is increasing to $59,995 — it will almost certainly be a $60,000 school this time next year — for an overall cost of $77,750.
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New York University
In 2020-21, an education at NYU cost $26,102 per term for a yearly cost of $52,204. Now, heading into academic year 2021-22, tuition is set to rise to $56,500. When the sum of all the related expenses is tallied, the total cost of a year of education at NYU is now more than $80,000 — $80,878, to be exact.
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A perennial contender for the title of best school in America, Princeton is an Ivy League school that, like Harvard, works hard to make world-class higher education affordable — but prices are going up.
In 2020-21, tuition was $54,070, with combined costs for the year totaling $76,420. In 2021-22, those numbers rise to $56,010 and $77,690. The school pays 100% of those costs for families making $65,000 or less and close to 100% of it for families with even higher incomes.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
In the 2019-2020 academic year, the cost of tuition at MIT was $53,450, with total costs for the year coming out to $73,160. Fast-forward post-pandemic to the 2021-22 academic year and the new cost is $77,020, the biggest expense being $55,510 for tuition. Like many other great schools on this list, however, MIT offers aid that covers most of those costs for most students.