Annual Costs

Undergraduate Tuition

Tuition for Harvard University is $44,990 for the 2017/2018 academic year. This is 62% more expensive than the national average private non-profit four year college tuition of $27,755. The cost is 41% more expensive than the average Massachusetts tuition of $32,017 for 4 year colleges. Tuition ranks 62nd in Massachusetts amongst 4 year colleges for affordability and is the 21st most expensive 4 year college in the state. Price does not vary by residence.

The school charges an additional fees of $3,959 in addition to tuition bringing the total effective in-state tuition to $48,949.

Housing Costs

On campus room and board is provided by the school at a cost of $16,660 per academic year. Students electing to live off campus elsewhere in Cambridge should budget at least this amount.

Books and Supplies

The estimated annual cost for books and supplies is $1,000.

Other Living Expenses

If living on-campus, students should budget for $2,991 in additional living expenses. Off-campus students should budget for $0 in other miscellaneous living expenses.

Total Costs

The annual tuition and living expense budget to go to Harvard was $69,600 for the 2017/2018 academic year. The cost is the same for all students regardless of Massachusetts residence status as there is no in-state discount.

Citation: Price data from the U.S. Department of Education's 2017-2018 and 2016-2017 IPEDS survey response for Harvard University and represent reported costs for the 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 academic years.

Costs and Tuition for Harvard University
Estimated Budgets
Massachusetts Resident Total Budget $69,600
   In-State Tuition$44,990
   Other Fees$3,959
   Room and Board$16,660
   On-Campus Other Budget$2,991
   Books and Supplies$1,000
Non-Resident Total Budget $69,600
   Out-of-State Tuition$44,990
   Other Fees$3,959
   Room and Board$16,660
   On-Campus Other Budget$2,991
   Books and Supplies$1,000


What it Really Costs

Depending on many factors including student and parent income and assets, the total cost of attendance may be less than the $69,600 published price if scholarship or grant aid is made available to you.

Net Price

The net out-of-pocket total cost you end up paying or financing though student loans is known as the net price. The reported Harvard net price for in-state students is $15,095* for the 2014/2015 academic year. This net price includes housing and meal expenses.

Pell Grants and other Grant Aid

56% of Harvard University students received grant aid in 2014/2015. The average total aid amount was $44,855. 17 percent of students received aid in the form of Pell Grants from the U.S. Federal Government. The average Pell Grant awarded for 2014/2015 was $4,739. To apply for a Pell Grant to attend Harvard University, the first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Net Price and Financial Aid for Harvard University
Financial Aid Summary
Average Annual Net Price$15,095*
Percent of Students Receiving Grant Aid56%
Average Total Grant Aid$44,855
Percent of Students Receiving Pell Grants17%
Average Amount of Pell Grant Aid$4,739

Average Net Price by Family Income

The average net total cost of attendance for different levels of family income after federal, state or local government, institutional grant and scholarship aid are awarded. Data last published for the 2014/2015 academic year.

Family Income Avg. Net Price
$0 to $30,000$2,473
$30,001 to $48,000$3,866
$48,001 to $75,000$6,310
$75,001 to $110,000$21,958

Average Financial Aid Mix - $69,600 In-State Total Cost

CollegeCalc has estimated typical coverage of the annual in-state tuition and living expenses of $69,600. Breakdown is based on average grant aid and federal loan aid which will vary based on your family income.


Grants and Scholarships

 67% - $44,855

Money granted to you by the U.S. Department of Education, Harvard University or other organizations. These are not loans and do not need to be repaid.

Federal Loans

 7% - $4,546

Low interest student loans funded by the U.S. Department of Education. This amount will need to be repaid.

Out of Pocket

 26% -  $17,208

Covered by family savings, work or private student loans which you will have to repay.

*Reported Average Annual Net Price for students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's Academic Year 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Note that for colleges with no reported on-campus room and board, the average net price has been increased to account for living expenses. This number may not only reflect the net price paid to the school for tuition.

Is it Worth the Cost?

To make a comparative assessment if Harvard is worth the price, measures of it's relative value for tuition dollar can be examined. We've calculated an academic national percentile rating of 99/100 for Harvard University. Considering an average net price paid of $18,277, this leads to an overall value ranking of 84/100. This places the school 13th on our national Best Value Colleges ranking as a provider of a very high value education compared to actual overall price paid.

Tuition Comparison to Similar Private Colleges in the Region

School Cost vs. Harvard University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology10.2% more expensive
Tufts University18.1% more expensive
Boston College16.7% more expensive
Brandeis University14.4% more expensive
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering8% more expensive

Cost of a Degree

When considering ability to pay for college, the annual cost is often discussed but it's the "all in" multi-year degree cost which matters in the end. Let's take a look at what it could really cost for four years at Harvard University.

Estimated 4 Year Cost at Published Tuition

At the current published rates, an estimated total tuition, fees and living expense price for a 4 year bachelor's degree at Harvard is $278,400 for students graduating in normal time. This methodology for estimating the 4 year cost is a straight multiple of the most recent reported annual total cost and does not factor in tuition increases during the time you're in school. It also assumes you receive no grant or scholarship aid and pay the full list price.

A potentially more accurate but less conservative estimate of a degree cost can be made by using the school's annual $18,277 in-state net price as the basis. Applying this cost over 4 would estimate the cost of a degree at $73,108**

If you end up on the "five year plan" and need an additional year to graduate, your five year cost could be as high as $348,000 or $91,385 using an average net price.

**Based on a 4 year multiple of Average Annual Net Price for students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Other Costs

Estimated Cost Per Semester

Most colleges don't charge students on an annual basis but instead require payment semester by semester. If you ever need to take an additional semester of classes to complete you degree you shouldn't have to pay for a full academic year. These our estimated costs for a semester at Harvard University.

Massachusetts Resident Tuition Per Semester$22,495
Massachusetts Resident Total Cost Per Semester$34,800

Cost Per Credit Hour and Cost for a Class

Some schools offer the ability to take single classes by paying on a per credit hour basis. The reported price per credit hour and estimated cost for one class at Harvard University are as follows. Per credit costs are for reference only as many schools will not allow students to pay by credit hour.

Cost per credit hour and per class at Harvard University
Price per credit hour$1,406
Cost for one class (3 credit hours)$4,218
Cost for one class (4 credit hours)$5,624


Student Loans and Debt

The second consideration after understanding the cost of college is determining how to finance it. Some students are fortunate enough to have some form of family financial assistance, but student loans end up financing a significant portion of higher education in the U.S. 3% of Harvard University students receive U.S. Federal Student Loans with an average annual Federal Loan aid amount of $4,546. The reported average student debt upon graduation is $12,560.

Example Loan Payments and Costs

How much are student loan payments for Harvard University? Obviously this varies based on a number of factors - offsetting financial aid you receive, percentage of fee you pay upfront while enrolled and the interest rate on your loans. We've modeled a sample student loan based on current Stafford loan rates to give you an approximate idea.

The following are the costs for a loan if you borrowed $73,108, 100% of the estimated average net price for a four year program and paid nothing while enrolled. The total of all payments including interest would sum $90,710.26. This could be your effective total out of pocket cost of an education at Harvard University. Note that this calculation assumes you don't pay full list price tuition, are part of the reported 56% of students at this school who receive financial aid and you are paying an average annual net price of $18,277. If you do not financially qualify for a reduced net price, your student loan payments could be significantly higher than this example. Use our Harvard University student loan calculator below to change loan assumptions and recalculate.

Student loans are not free money and must be repaid. You cannot dismiss student loans by via bankruptcy.

Harvard University Student Loan Payments
Example Payments
Monthly Loan Payment$755.92
Amount Borrowed$73,108.00
Interest Rate4.5%
Term10 years
Number of Monthly Payments120
Total Interest Cost$17,602.26
Sum of All Payments over 10 years$90,710.26

Affording Student Loan Payments and Post Graduation Salary

Can I afford to attend Harvard? In the end, the answer comes down a determination if you will earn enough to comfortably pay back a student loan with your post graduation salary. This is an extremely important point to consider. In order to afford student loan payments and still meet all your other costs of living, it is recommended not to borrow more than you can pay back using 10% of your monthly income earned after graduation. If you're considering attending Harvard University, you need to carefully consider if it will be realistic to make the post graduation loan payments based on your expected salary.

Using the 10% of salary threshold, an annual income of $90,710.26 would be needed to afford a $755.92 monthly payment in the example $73,108.00 loan modeled above. You will need to determine if it is at all realistic that you will be earning this type of salary after graduation. This assumes a loan payback over 10 years. You can change the terms of this example loan using the student loan calculator below.

Estimated Future Cost and Expected Tuition Increase

What will it cost to send your child to Harvard University in the future? In the past four years, this school's published in-state tuition and fee total rose from $37,576 to $44,990. This amounts to an average annual price increase of 3.9%. Nationally, university tuition prices are rising around 5% per year. Looking out five, ten, fifteen or eighteen years, these are CollegeCalc's estimates how much you could expect to pay for a 4 year degree assuming tuition increases at the national average rate. Estimated future prices are based on the current 4 year cost of $278,400.00. Use the college savings plan calculator below to perform a more comprehensive analysis on future costs and how much you will need to save for Harvard University.

Annual4 Year Degree
Estimated Cost in 5 years for students enrolling in 2024$95,716$382,865
Estimated Cost in 10 years for students enrolling in 2029$122,161$488,643
Estimated Cost in 15 years for students enrolling in 2034 $155,912$623,647
Estimated Cost in 18 years for students enrolling in 2037 $180,487$721,949

Tuition History

What was tuition at Harvard five, ten, fifteen or twenty years ago? Hop into our time machine and take a look. Pay attention to how aggressive the school has been with price increases in the past as it provides indication as to how the school may raise tuition in the next few years. Historical tuition and fees for all available data years back to 1987 follows.

YearTuitionAnnual Increase

Comparable Cost for Popular Majors

We've compared the out of state cost of the most popular undergraduate areas of study at Harvard University to the national average for all other colleges offering the same major. Use this comparison to determine particular programs where this school offers value relative to other colleges.

Area of Study Graduates vs National Avg
Economics, General Bachelor's Degree 209 56% costlier
Psychology, General Bachelor's Degree 93 72% costlier
Social Sciences, General Bachelor's Degree 86 81% costlier
English Language and Literature, General Bachelor's Degree 81 73% costlier
Evolutionary Biology Bachelor's Degree 74 26% costlier
Cell/Cellular and Molecular Biology Bachelor's Degree 63 53% costlier
Applied Mathematics, General Bachelor's Degree 59 55% costlier
History, Other Bachelor's Degree 58 57% costlier
History and Philosophy of Science and Technology Bachelor's Degree 47 26% costlier
Engineering Science Bachelor's Degree 38 45% costlier
Computer Science Bachelor's Degree 36 66% costlier
Chemistry, General Bachelor's Degree 34 67% costlier
Visual and Performing Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 26 71% costlier
Art History, Criticism and Conservation Bachelor's Degree 25 42% costlier
Environmental Studies Bachelor's Degree 19 42% costlier
Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics Bachelor's Degree 17 31% costlier
Comparative Literature Bachelor's Degree 15 25% costlier
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Bachelor's Degree 15 39% costlier
Religion/Religious Studies Bachelor's Degree 14 46% costlier
Linguistics Bachelor's Degree 13 40% costlier
Mathematics, General Bachelor's Degree 13 70% costlier
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, Other Associate's Degree 12 202% costlier
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies Bachelor's Degree 12 73% costlier
Atomic/Molecular Physics Bachelor's Degree 11 55% costlier
German Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 5 48% costlier
Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering Bachelor's Degree 4 36% costlier
Astrophysics Bachelor's Degree 3 21% costlier
East Asian Studies Bachelor's Degree 2 22% costlier
Biochemistry Bachelor's Degree 2 49% costlier
Sociology Bachelor's Degree 2 69% costlier
Neurobiology and Anatomy Bachelor's Degree 2 16% costlier
Physics, General Bachelor's Degree 1 58% costlier
English Language and Literature/Letters, Other Bachelor's Degree 1 49% costlier
Near and Middle Eastern Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 16% costlier
History, General Bachelor's Degree 1 70% costlier
Philosophy Bachelor's Degree 1 54% costlier
Women's Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 47% costlier
Anthropology Bachelor's Degree 1 54% costlier
Romance Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics Bachelor's Degree 1 21% costlier
Political Science and Government, General Bachelor's Degree 1 67% costlier
Geology/Earth Science, General Bachelor's Degree 1 68% costlier
Slavic, Baltic and Albanian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics Bachelor's Degree 1 21% costlier
Music, General Bachelor's Degree 1 69% costlier
Statistics, General Bachelor's Degree 1 55% costlier
African-American/Black Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 48% costlier
Sanskrit and Classical Indian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics Bachelor's Degree 1 4% costlier


Use the calculators below to formulate a college savings plan for Harvard University or model a student loan.

College Savings Calculator

Plan and Save for College

Discover how much will you need to start saving now to afford Harvard University in the future.

Student Loan Calculator

Estimate Loan Payments

Modify the loan assumptions to fit your financial situation and likely tuition price. Then calculate your payoff and loan payments for a Harvard University student loan.

Prepayment Option

About Harvard University

Harvard University is a four year private college located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Full time enrollment is 20,591 and part time is 9,317. Learn more about getting accepted at Harvard University at CollegeSimply.

Students attending this school may pursue both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, Massachusetts

For Profit / Not For Profit Status

Harvard University is a private not for profit institution.

Harvard University cost and financial aid data source: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=166027 IPEDS survey data.