Washington University announces 2008-09 tuition, fees, room and board

Undergraduate tuition at Washington University in St. Louis will be $36,200 for the 2008-09 academic year — a $1,700 (4.9 percent) increase over the 2007-08 current academic tuition of $34,500. The required student activity fee will total $362, and the student health fee will be $686. The announcement was made by Barbara A. Feiner, vice chancellor for finance.

Charges for on-campus double-occupancy housing for 2008-09 will range between $7,360 and $8,140, depending on whether a student selects newer housing or not. This is an increase of 2.7 percent over the current year’s housing, plus it includes an additional mandatory technology fee that, while previously optional, was paid by virtually all residents. The costs for the full-meal plan for 2008-09 will go up from this year’s charge of $4,150 to $4,276, a 3 percent increase.

In a letter to parents and students about 2008-09 tuition, room, board, and other fees, Executive Vice Chancellor Edward S. Macias, Ph.D., dean of Arts & Sciences and the Barbara and David Thomas Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences, said the following:

“As in prior years, these increases are a reminder that higher education faces significant cost pressures. The University must keep pace with increasing costs of operating in a highly competitive and demanding environment. Doing so requires a strong commitment to maintaining and improving areas that escalate in cost more rapidly than the consumer price index, including instructional, administrative, and networking technology; library subscriptions, book purchases and digital archives; upgrading and replacement of laboratories and classrooms; as well as energy and transportation. Most importantly, we strive to retain and attract the very finest faculty, often in fields where market forces play a large role in determining salaries and benefits.

“The full cost of a Washington University education is not covered by the tuition and fees we charge. Gifts, grants, and endowments help make up the difference between our real expenses and what students and their families actually pay. While Washington University’s alumni and friends are generous, the growth in gifts and in spendable endowment income does not fully offset additional charges that must be supported through tuition.

“Over the next three years the University will need to make even greater investments in upgrading the data network to handle dramatic growth in volume and to accommodate new voice, video, and communication technologies that students and faculty now require in our classrooms, laboratories, studios and libraries. Resources necessary to better protect University data, personal information, and computers are being added, as are electronically operated personal security systems that include card-operated door access, emergency communication systems, and video monitoring.

“In August we will open several new buildings, including the Harry and Susan Seigle Hall for social sciences and law, and the William H. and Elizabeth Gray Danforth University Center — both state-of-the-art facilities that will significantly expand services and opportunities for undergraduates. New buildings that bring greater benefit also bring new operating costs, such as the Danforth Center’s expanded Career Center, a campus-wide resource available to all students. Career planning — from the freshman year through graduation and beyond — is an essential component of the undergraduate experience. The University seeks to provide students the skills, creativity, and proactive strategies so important to making productive life-planning choices.

“Of special importance is the growing commitment to sustainability in such areas as energy and the environment. Washington University is investing significant resources to this rapidly expanding field. Programs range from activities for public service to cutting-edge research important to controlling global warming, preserving environmentally sensitive species, and supplying more efficient energy.”

Nearly 60 percent of Washington University undergraduates receive financial aid in the form of grants, scholarships and other awards. As evidence of the university’s commitment to a strong financial aid program, students who qualify for need-based financial assistance will receive consideration for these increases in costs, along with consideration of changes in their family financial circumstances at the time they apply for renewal of financial aid.

Feiner noted that the university offers payment plans to help lessen family financial burdens, including the Partners in Education with Parents (PEP) plan that allows university charges for all undergraduate years to be paid in monthly installments over as many as 10 years at competitive fixed interest rates. The advantage of this plan is that a family can decrease the effect of future tuition and room-and-board increases, depending on the level of participation the family chooses. There is also a monthly payment plan that allows families to spread all or most of a single academic year’s expenses over 10 equal monthly payments without any interest charges.

Below are the 2008-09 full-time tuition and fee schedules for the Washington University graduate and professional programs, as well as tuition for evening and summer schools enrolling part-time students.

Graduate and professional tuition

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, the Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design, and graduate programs in the School of Engineering: The 2008-09 tuition charge for graduate students in these programs will be $36,200, an increase of $1,700 (4.9 percent) over the current charge of $34,500.

Graduate School of Art: The 2008-09 tuition charge for the Master of Fine Arts program will be $29,500, an increase of $1,550 (5.5 percent) over the current charge of $27,950.

Brown School of Social Work: The 2008-09 tuition for first-year students in the Master of Social Work program will be $28,890, an increase of $1,500 (5.5 percent) over the current charge of $27,390. For continuing students in the Master of Social Work program, tuition is set at $28,770, an increase of $1,380 (5.0 percent) over the current charge of $27,390.

School of Law: The 2008-09 tuition for the Juris Doctor program will be $39,700, an increase of $2,240 (6.0 percent) over the current charge of $37,460 and the LLM program at $39,860, an increase of $2,260 (6.0 percent) over the current charge of $37,600.

Olin Business School graduate program: The 2008-09 tuition for the Master of Business Administration program will be $40,500, an increase of $2,600 (6.9 percent) over the current charge of $37,900.

School of Medicine: Tuition for 2008-09 for the M.D. degree will be set in March.

Evening and Summer School tuition rates, 2008-09

Undergraduate evening students: For undergraduate evening students enrolling in University College in Arts & Sciences or continuing education classes in the School of Architecture in 2008-09, tuition will be $495 per credit hour, compared with the 2007-08 cost of $465 per credit hour.

Graduate students in University College: Depending upon the graduate program in University College in Arts & Sciences, tuition ranges from $495 to $695 per credit hour for 2008-09 compared with the current range of $465 to $665.

Summer School in Arts & Sciences: Tuition in Summer School classes in Arts & Sciences will be $765 per undergraduate credit hour and $915 per graduate credit hour for summer 2008, compared with the 2007 Summer School rates of $725 and $825 per credit hour, respectively.