Brown Corporation sets tuition and fees for 2020-21

Tuition and fees were approved at the Corporation’s February meeting as an initial step toward full budget approval in May 2020.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Based on recommendations from a committee of faculty, senior administrators, students and staff members, the Corporation of Brown University on Saturday, Feb. 8, approved undergraduate, graduate and medical school tuition and fees for the 2020-21 academic year.

Tuition for Brown’s undergraduate education and for most doctoral and on-campus master’s degree programs will be $59,254, a 3.75% increase compared to 2019-20. Medical school tuition will increase by 3% to $64,974.

Brown Provost Richard M. Locke chairs the University Resources Committee (URC), which includes faculty, administrators, students and staff and develops Brown’s annual operating budget presented for the Corporation’s approval. He said the URC strives to keep tuition and fees increases as low as possible, even as those funds continue to provide the largest share of revenue for the University’s budget.

“Throughout our budget deliberations, the URC has been committed to moderating increases to tuition and fees,” he said. “Our goal is to ensure that together with our commitment to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of every admitted undergraduate, a Brown education is accessible to talented students from every income level. This year’s increase seeks to fulfill this goal while continuing the investments needed to advance academic excellence and promote a diverse and inclusive teaching and learning community.”

To develop the proposed FY21 budget, the University has implemented a new base-budgeting process designed to capture real academic and administrative costs and needs each year with the goal of ensuring an increasingly predictable budget that is less reliant on tuition and fees. As part of the transition in the budget process, the full budget will be presented for Corporation approval each year in May, rather than February. Tuition and fees will continue to be finalized in February to enable students to anticipate the following year’s cost of attendance.

The full budget under development by the URC will advance the University’s long-standing commitment to ensuring that cost does not prevent talented students from coming to Brown, regardless of their socioeconomic background, Locke noted.

“Next year’s tuition and fees will provide essential revenue to the University to support and advance Brown’s academic priorities, and we fully expect the final Fiscal Year 2021 financial aid budget to outpace this measured increase,” he said. “We will continue to increase funds for undergraduate financial aid, support graduate students through generous stipends and benefits, and invest in everything from high-impact research to new educational programs to community-building initiatives.”

Undergraduate financial aid has long been among the fastest-growing elements of the annual budget, with an increase of more than 87% in the last decade. For the current academic year at Brown, 43% of undergraduates receive financial aid, and the average need-based award is $48,751.

Bolstered by support from Brown’s generous donors and contributions from the University endowment, the financial aid budget has enabled a need-blind undergraduate admission policy for U.S. applicants since 2003 and the more recent launch of The Brown Promise, which has removed loans packaged in all University financial aid awards for undergraduates.

Brown’s financial aid efforts have been complemented by a growing array of recent initiatives to support students from low-income families. These include establishing the Undocumented, First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center; providing scholarship funds to cover health insurance; doubling emergency funding to assist students in times of crisis; establishing travel allowances for international students; lowering summer earnings expectations; launching a textbook assistance initiative; strengthening food security; and extending need-blind admission policies to include prospective students who have served in the U.S. military.

The Corporation also approved salary increase pools of 2.5% for both faculty and staff to position Brown to maintain its competitiveness for employees in a competitive national labor market. Like tuition and fees, the timeline for approving the pool of funds available for merit performance increases to compensation will remain in February to enable planning for 2020-21 staffing.

Tuition and Fees

The Corporation approved the following undergraduate tuition and fees for the 2021-21 academic year:

Tuition: $59,254 (a 3.75% increase)
Standard room rate: $9,774 (a 3.76% increase)
Standard board: $6,134 (a 3.76% increase)
Health fee: $978 (a 3.82% increase)
Student activities fee: $298 (a 4.2% increase)
Student recreation fee: $66 (a 3.13% increase)

TOTAL UNDERGRADUATE: $76,504 (a 3.75% increase)

Graduate tuition for most doctoral and on-campus master’s degree programs is the same as undergraduate tuition: $59,254, a 3.75% increase. Given a shift in 2018 to market-based pricing for some master’s degrees, approximately 10 on-campus master’s programs have tuition rates that vary from the standard — for most, tuition for 2020-21 will remain the same as 2019-20 or increase by 3.75%.

Medical school tuition will increase by 3% to $64,974.