The Duke University Board of Trustees approved a nearly 4 percent tuition increase during its quarterly meeting Friday and Saturday.
Undergraduate tuition will rise to $53,760 per academic year, a 3.9 percent increase, and the total cost for the next academic year, including tuition, room, board and fees, will be $70,873.
That marks the lowest annual percentage increase in the total cost of attendance in at least 10 years, the university said in a news release Saturday.
“This decision comes after a rigorous assessment of our program costs and financial aid, focusing on ways we can address affordability while maintaining our unique and excellent educational experience, including the people, facilities and programs that make Duke one of the top universities in the world,” President Vincent Price said in the release. “We will continue to be vigorous in containing expenses, generating new resources and ensuring that access, affordability and diversity remain key priorities.”
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In the current 2017-18 academic year, Duke expects to invest more than $161 million of university funds to support undergraduate financial aid, which marks a 25.5 percent increase over the past five years. Around half of all Duke students from a wide range of family incomes receive some form of financial assistance from the university this year, making the average net cost for those students receiving need-based aid approximately $19,000.
Duke has a need-blind admissions policy, under which it accepts U.S. students without regard to their ability to pay for college and then fully meets their demonstrated financial need. Estimates for financial aid costs in the next academic year will not be finalized until later in 2018, when financial aid packages for new and returning students are calculated.
Nationally private nonprofit four-year schools have raised tuition in recent years faster than public schools, the College Board reports. Published tuition and fees rose 13 percent from 2012-13 to 2017-18, after adjusting for inflation. In contrast, average prices at public four-year institutions rose 8 percent over those five years.
In 2017, Duke enrolled the second entering class of the Rubenstein Scholars, 60 first-generation college students who receive a loan-free financial package that covers the full cost of attendance for all four years and support for summer experiences such as internships.
Tuition and fees pay for only part of the cost of a Duke education. Other significant sources of support for students include income generated by the university’s endowment and private philanthropy from individuals and foundations. The Duke Forward campaign, which ended in 2017, raised $473 million to support scholarships and student financial aid.
New tuition rates for Duke’s graduate and professional schools in 2018-19 were also set today. They include:
▪ Divinity School: $24,180 (Master of Divinity), up 4 percent over the current year.
▪ Fuqua School of Business: $68,200 (daytime MBA), up 3.9 percent.
▪ Graduate School: $53,540 (Ph.D. programs), up 4 percent.
▪ Law School: $63,400, up 3.9 percent.
▪ Nicholas School of the Environment: $39,975, up 2.5 percent.
▪ Pratt School of Engineering: $54,576 (Master of Engineering Management Program), up 4 percent.
▪ Sanford School of Public Policy: $46,900 (Master of Public Policy), up 3 percent.
▪ School of Medicine: $59,100, up 3.5 percent.
▪ School of Nursing: $42,456, up 3.9 percent.