BU Today

Campus Life

BU’s Tuition, Room and Board to Rise 3.7 Percent

Undergraduates will see more than $195 million in financial aid


Tuition at Boston University for the 2014-2015 academic year will rise to $45,686 and the cost of basic room and board to $14,030. Next year’s costs, set by the Board of Trustees, amount to an overall increase of 3.7 percent, with a 3.9 percent increase in tuition and a 3.0 percent increase in standard room and board. Tuition increases at the University have averaged 3.8 percent over the past five years.

In a letter sent last Friday to students and parents, President Robert A. Brown described BU’s five-year average increase as one of the lowest among peer universities. Brown said the University expects that approximately 8,100 undergraduate students (51 percent) will receive financial aid from the University, amounting to over $195 million.

“We recognize the need to control the cost of attendance for our students and parents,” the president wrote. “As we have developed a budget for the coming year, we have continued our efforts to raise the quality of a Boston University education and improve support services while expanding our capacity to offer financial assistance.”

Brown reminded readers that the University is halfway through its first comprehensive campaign to raise $1 billion, and that building the endowment to support financial aid is a major focus of the campaign. He encouraged students and parents to read about the “many signs of the University’s commitment to enhanced quality and innovation in undergraduate education” in the Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2013.

Brown said the University is working to enhance quality and control expenses, especially in areas outside classrooms and laboratories. He noted that some of the University’s increased expenses for next year are caused by unavoidable factors, such as the greater cost of employee benefits, especially health care, and energy.

“We know parents and students make substantial sacrifices to pay tuition at Boston University,” the president wrote. “We remain committed to our mission of high quality education and will continue to address the challenges of balancing quality and cost that go with this commitment.”

Art Jahnke

Art Jahnke can be reached at jahnke@bu.edu.

11 Comments on BU’s Tuition, Room and Board to Rise 3.7 Percent

  • SMG Alumnus on 03.17.2014 at 12:10 pm

    Read our annual report, where we tell you nothing about where your money actually goes.

  • Anonymous on 03.17.2014 at 12:35 pm

    Can’t say this is a shocker… not sure I believe employee benefits (healthcare) and energy rose a combined 3.9 percent though.

  • Kyle on 03.17.2014 at 1:32 pm

    If anything, the cost of tuition at this University at a minimum should go up whatever the current inflation rate is increasing at (1.4%). How someone can charge this rate to “stay competitive” is ridiculous. If they wanted to bring in the “best minds” they should focus on getting our financial aid coverage a lot higher than the roughly 51% need-based aid that it is at now while freezing or increasing tuition just enough to stay on par. While we try to raise our rankings, consider that those intellectuals would rather go to a school that can offer them more aid at a lower rate, rather than heightening our “diverse” and “international” status by having a tuition only the wealthy can afford both nationally and internationally. This is not a knock on our international recognition either but we would get higher quality students, not dollar signs, both nationally and internationally, if the tuition wasn’t rising at the current rate.

    At the current rate, tuition/room and board would be 55,300/16,300 (total 71,600) by 2020 (5 years) and 81,100/21,900 (total 103,000) in 2030 (only 15 years away). Do we expect the average wage of a person to be even close to that in those same time frames…

    • Joseph on 03.17.2014 at 6:03 pm

      Logic is corruption’s cancer.

  • Anonymous on 03.17.2014 at 3:29 pm

    Come on… inflation was only 1.6% this year… why did the cost of attending go up 3.7%?

  • Max on 03.17.2014 at 4:03 pm

    Think your children will be able to attend college, even with your support? Think again.

    Citing from http://www.collegecalc.org/colleges/california/stanford-university (not BU, but the same basic math applies)

    What will it cost to send your child to Stanford University in the future? In the past five years, this school’s published in-state tuition and fee total rose from $32,994 to $41,564. This amounts to an average annual price increase of 5.2%. 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 can expect to pay for a 4 year degree at this school assuming tuition increases along at the national average rate. Estimated future prices are based on the current 4 year cost of $225,784.00. Use our college savings plan calculator below to perform a more comprehensive analysis on future costs and how much you will need to save for Stanford University.
    Estimated Cost in 5 years for students enrolling in 2019 – Annual: $77,626, 4 Year Degree: $310,506
    Estimated Cost in 10 years for students enrolling in 2024 – Annual: $99,073, 4 Year Degree: $396,293
    Estimated Cost in 15 years for students enrolling in 2029 – Annual: $126,445, 4 Year Degree: $505,781
    Estimated Cost in 18 years for students enrolling in 2032 – Annual: $146,376, 4 Year Degree: $585,505

  • Anonymous on 03.17.2014 at 4:56 pm

    “President Robert A. Brown described BU’s five-year average increase as one of the lowest among peer universities.” That might be true. However, could you compare BU’s tuition with other universities? BU’s is extremely expensive. Also, could you explain why we have 4 credits(and we have to pay for 4 credits) per course but only have 3 hours per course every week? Thanks.

  • Gio on 03.17.2014 at 10:25 pm

    Way to destroy chances for legacies to attendin the near future…

  • Anon on 03.18.2014 at 12:50 am

    How is increased tuition going to help the current students? Are there going to be renovations to current buildings? New buildings will only make BU look better, they won’t benefit the students. Will some of the professors get some much needed lessons on teaching?

  • Alumni on 03.19.2014 at 9:29 pm

    BU must try different ways of cost control. The tuition increases have been out of control. 3.x% increases per year may be in-line with other schools, but considering the staggering amount already – it is appalling. Controlling costs would go a long way for helping young graduates help pay their loans back in an increasingly competitive job environment.

  • james seibel on 03.21.2014 at 12:30 pm

    Currently 4 years at this rate of tuition and room/board is now $238,864. A 3.7% increase next year will add $8,837 to the 4 year price. How in the world can a 4 year education increase nearly $10,000 every year? 6 years of 3.7% increases will make a 4 year education cost over $297,000. 3.7% increases every year are unsustainable, not only because that is far above the rate of inflation, but because the current sticker price is so high that 3.7% becomes an enormous sum every year.

    BU has not felt the pressure to innovate to reduce costs because it is a world class university with a large number of wealthy students capable of paying sticker price. This cannot last forever, and hard choices will need to be made in the medium-term to actually reduce costs (a radical proposition in higher education).

    Tearing down old and inefficient buildings, eliminating departments, increasing the use of technology to reduce support and administrative staff, larger classes, and radically increasing the endowment to match the ivy league are the only realistic options to fix these issues.

    If these decisions aren’t made, when will it stop? $500k for a degree? $1million? Salaries have not been rising for the vast majority of workers. A $250k degree in English or communications from BU will never justify the price.

    I don’t expect anything to happen soon. The situation I have explained is mathematically inevitable, so I look forward to seeing how it plays out. BU is not the only school with this problem, either. Similar high ranked non-ivies like NYU, BC, PC, Northeastern, and Tufts will all get to the same place.

Post Your Comment

(never shown)