Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the current cost of tuition at Howard University?
Current tuition for undergraduate students is $19,150 per year. Current tuition for graduate students is approximately $25,295 per year. In each case, the tuition cost is approximately half the cost of educating undergraduate and graduate students at Howard.
Q. How much will tuition increase for the 2012-13 academic year?
Undergraduate tuition will increase by 12% or $2,300, to a total of $21,450 for the 2012-2013 academic school year. Graduate tuition will increase by 15% to $3,794, to a total $29,090 for AY2012-13. For professional schools the rate of increases varies range from 5% - 15%. See the chart below for increases to tuition in MBA, Divinity, Law, Dentistry, Medicine and Pharmacy programs.
Q. What does tuition money pay for at the University?
Funding to support the University's academic renewal initiative and general operations comes from various internal and external sources. The most significant include: support from the federal government and agencies, tuition and fees, contributions from alumni and other supporters of the University, as well as contract and research grants.
The University's approach to tuition and mandatory fee pricing is designed to enhance academic and students services; to ensure financial sustainability and provide support for short and long-term reinvestment strategies. During the past two years, Howard renovated a number of classrooms, laboratories and campus buildings, streamlined student services, installed WiFi technology across the entire campus, upgraded ResNet and I-Lab services, expanded food service options, significantly improved student health services, and substantially increased need-based financial aid for eligible students. In the next two years, Howard will add new residence halls for undergraduate students and facilities to support faculty and student academic research activities.
Q. Why is it necessary to raise tuition when Howard families are struggling so much financially?
We heavily weigh any decision to raise tuition and fees as we are very sensitive to the ability of our students and their families to finance higher education.
The guiding principles when establishing tuition rates are: 1) to ensure the sustainability of the institution, 2) to reinvest in the University (e.g. faculty, students, and infrastructure), and 3) to align pricing with the University's market value. However, given the depressed economic environment, tuition recommendations are also responsive to: 1) fiscal concerns at the University, and 2) the need to develop the desired enrollment profile. With funding support from the federal government remaining flat or declining over the past five years, the University will have to increase revenues from other sources, including tuition and fees, to help offset the rising cost of its operations and strategic investments while remaining accessible.
Q. What is Howard doing to help defray the cost of higher education?
An analysis of payments by funding source for students over the last five years illustrates that student payments have decreased from 36% to 20% of net collected charges. Over the same period, HU aid has increased from 16% to 25% and federal aid has increased from 50% to 56%. These increases are due, in part, to increased maximums in federal student aid (i.e. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Federal Pell Grant for eligible students). Therefore, the overall impact to students has been minimal despite the rate at which tuition has increased. The table below shows the sources of payments for fall semester charges to students from the University.
Q. What percentage of Howard Students receive aid?
Approximately 88% of all students will receive some form of aid (from various sources) each year.Approximately half of that aid is from Federal Pell Grants.
Q. How does Howard tuition increase compare to other universities?
Howard's tuition is more than 50% less than its peer institutions and continues to be one of our nation's best, accessible and affordable comprehensive research institutions. Between AY2011 and AY2012, the University's peer/aspirant institutions' median tuition was $41,366 compared to $19,150 at Howard; these institutions increased tuition at a median rate of 4.6% or approximately $1,800. Howard's increase of 12.0% accounts for an approximate increase of $2,000, which is comparable to other private universities.
Q. What will Howard do to ensure that students with demonstrated need offset the cost of tuition?
Access to a Howard education is a mission-driven commitment. The University's Need-Based Grant program automatically awards full-time, undergraduate students whose Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is zero (0). The award matches the maximum Federal Pell Grant award and provides $5,550 per academic year. To be eligible, the student must 1) file a FAFSA, 2) submit all required financial aid documents, 3) maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress, 4) be a Federal Pell Grant recipient, and 5) have a zero (0) EFC as calculated by the U.S. Department of Education, based on their FAFSA data. We are aggressively exploring new models and funding streams in order to increase resources available for need-based grants, including soliciting support from University alumni and benefactors.