Harvard Beats Princeton and Yale...In Tuition Race

by BILLY GRAY · March 23, 2010

Tuition and fees at Harvard will top $50,000 for the first time next year. Always eager to best its "Big Three" rivals Princeton and Yale, Harvard has come out on top once again.  Too bad Boston U, Scripps and Connecticut College rank above Harvard in the ripoff department.

To be fair, Harvard is struggling as much as any $26 billion institution can. That endowment is still tops in America, but also had the dubious distinction of taking the biggest percentage hit (30%, from $37 billion in 2008) during the Great Recession. And of course, Harvard has beefed up its financial aid in recent years (60% of undergraduates receive some form of aid, as the tuition increase memo goes to great pains to remind us), with families making between $60,000 and $180,000 asked to pay between 0 and 10% of their incomes. (Under 60k, and it's all free.)

Still, arbitrary milestones matter. So pushing through the $50,000 ceiling makes the number somehow look more imposing than 2010-2011 tuition and fees at Yale ($49,800) and Princeton ($48,580).

Meanwhile, the trust fund bohos at Sarah Lawrence paid $54,410 in tuition and fees last year. Not a bad path to bragging rights, since unlike H-Y-P, Sarah Lawrence will not be battling it out on the football field.