How Ivy League financial aid packages stack up, even amid the coronavirus pandemic

Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty ImagesIvy League schools aren’t curbing their high tuition prices amid the pandemic, but most already offer free tuition for students from families with a yearly income under $US65,000.
  • Ivy League colleges are by and large not reducing tuition this fall, even though instruction will mostly be online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Full tuition at an Ivy League college typically falls between $US50,000 and $US60,000 per year.
  • All eight Ivy League schools provide comprehensive financial aid packages. The majority offer free tuition to students from families earning less than $US65,000 per year.
  • Below, Business Insider compiled each school’s basic financial aid offering, along with the full price of tuition and each school’s coronavirus reopening plan.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Some have lamented that the coronavirus crisis has rendered the Ivy League a glorified version of the University of Phoenix, with sky high tuition to boot.

An Ivy League education costs somewhere between $US50,000 and $US60,000 per year — and that’s just the tuition. Room, board, and other student fees then push that baseline up by thousands. The average tuition and fees at public colleges are typically much lower.

All eight prestigious Ivy League colleges, however, provide comprehensive financial aid packages. For the most part, students from families making less than $US65,000 per year can attend an Ivy League school for free.

The full price of tuition remains unchanged at most colleges amid the coronavirus pandemic, though, even as the majority of schools plan to rely heavily on remote learning this fall. Princeton opted to institute a 10% tuition cut, while other schools reiterated that the quality of instruction would remain the same amid remote learning, so tuition would remain the same, too.

Below, Business Insider rounded up the financial aid offerings at each Ivy League school. Full tuition prices, along with fall reopening plans, are also included. The schools are listed in alphabetical order.


Brown University

Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty ImagesBrown University’s campus in Providence, Rhode Island on April 25, 2019.

Families with total parental earnings lower than $US60,000 and assets of less than $US100,000 are not required to make a parental contribution toward the cost of education at Brown. The school determines aid based on demonstrated financial need, and does not provide merit-based scholarships.

The baseline cost of a full year’s tuition at Brown is $US59,254. The coronavirus pandemic has not impacted that figure.

The school is planning a hybrid approach to reopening, allowing some students on campus this fall while much of the instruction will remain online.


Columbia University

Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty ImagesColumbia University’s library amid the coronavirus pandemic in New York City.

For students coming from families with calculated total incomes of less than $US60,000 annually, parents are not expected to contribute to the cost of attendance. For students coming from families with calculated total incomes between $US60,000 and $US100,000 annually, Columbia offers a reduced parent contribution.

The baseline cost of a full year’s tuition at Columbia is $US61,850. The coronavirus pandemic has not impacted that figure.

The school is planning a hybrid approach to reopening, where classes will be offered in multiple formats.


Cornell University

Cornell UniversityStudents on Cornell University’s Ithaca, New York campus.

Families with total parent earnings less than $US60,000 and assets of less than $US100,000 are not required to make a parental contribution toward the cost of education for students attending Cornell.

The baseline cost of a full year’s tuition at Cornell is $US58,586. The coronavirus pandemic has not impacted that figure.

The school is maintaining the 3.6% rise in tuition it announced in March. Cornell is planning a to reopen in the fall based on “counterintuitive” evidence that doing so will actually lead to fewer coronavirus infections than a fully remote semester.


Dartmouth College

Sarah Rice for The Washington Post via Getty ImagesStudents at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire in June 2019.

Free tuition is offered at Dartmouth for students coming from families making less than $US100,000.

The baseline cost of a full year’s tuition at Dartmouth is $US57,796. The coronavirus pandemic has not impacted that figure.

Dartmouth is planning a hybrid return in the fall, with half of the student body on campus and instruction available remotely.


Harvard University

Anik Rahman/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesHarvard students on the Cambridge, Massachusetts campus on July 8, 2020.

Students from families with incomes below $US65,000 are not expected to contribute toward the cost of attending Harvard. Families with incomes between $US65,000 and $US150,000 will contribute from 0% to 10% of income, depending on individual circumstances. Families with incomes above $US150,000 are expected to pay above 10% of their income, also based on their individual circumstances.

The baseline cost of a full year’s tuition at Harvard is $US49,653. The coronavirus pandemic has not impacted that figure.

The school is planning for a remote semester, but also plans to allow 40% of its undergraduate student body to return to campus.


The University of Pennsylvania

Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty ImagesStudents walk through the University of Pennsylvania campus.

Students from families with incomes below $US65,500 will generally pay nothing toward the cost of attending Penn. They will receive financial aid packages that cover tuition, room, and board. Students coming from families with income below $US140,000 also generally receive financial aid packages that cover tuition.

The baseline cost of a full year’s tuition at Penn is $US53,166. The coronavirus pandemic has not impacted that figure.

Penn is planning a hybrid return in the fall, with a combination of online learning and in-person instruction.


Princeton University

William Thomas Cain/Getty ImagesStudents walk on campus at Princeton University on February 4, 2020 in Princeton, New Jersey.

Students from families with incomes below $US65,000 receive a financial aid package that covers full tuition, room, and board. All families making up to $US180,000 per year qualified for financial aid at Princeton.

The baseline cost of a full year’s tuition at Princeton is $US48,502 – roughly a 10% discount from the normal figure, due to the coronavirus.

Princeton is planning a remote fall, with certain students allowed to return to campus.


Yale University

Yana Paskova/Stringer/GettyStudents walk on Yale’s New Haven, Connecticut campus in 2018.

Families with income less than $US65,000 are not expected to make any financial contribution towards their child’s education at Yale. Families earning up to $US200,000 will contribute a percentage of their yearly income, on a sliding scale that moves toward 20%. All students with demonstrated financial need receive aid.

The baseline cost of a full year’s tuition at Yale is $US57,700. The coronavirus pandemic has not impacted that figure.

Yale is planning a hybrid approach to the fall. While most classes will be taught remotely, roughly half of the student body would be on campus at any given time.

Abby Jackson and Catherine Rice contributed to previous versions of this story.

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