Some 5Cs won’t raise tuition costs for upcoming school year

Claremont McKenna, Pomona and Harvey Mudd will not increase tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year. (Talia Bernstein • The Student Life)

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the U.S. economy, some of the undergraduate Claremont Colleges recently announced they will not increase tuition and/or room and board costs for the upcoming school year, a departure from previous years.

Claremont McKenna College will not raise tuition or room and board costs for the 2020-2021 school year, officials announced in an email to students Thursday, but did not specify whether tuition and room and board would be frozen at 2019-2020 levels. 

Tuition costs were $56,190 in the 2019-2020 school year. Those living in residence halls, triple/quads and apartments paid $9,300, $8,120 and $10,680, respectively. Board costs also varied by meal plan, ranging from $6,700 for eight meals per week to $8,000 for 16 meals per week.

“There are still many decisions to make and communicate in July, but in the last few days we received some specific questions regarding tuition rates, and want to provide accurate information,” Vice President of Student Affairs Sharon Basso and Dean of Students Dianna Graves CM ’98 said in the email. “The only decisions made to date on the cost of attendance for the 2020-21 academic year is that there will be no increase for tuition or room [and] board.”

The Presidents’ Council of The Claremont Colleges has not yet determined if fall classes will be taught in-person, online or in a hybrid format, TSL previously reported.

CMC may decrease tuition costs if classes are online, Basso and Graves said in an email to students Monday. But the board of trustees hasn’t yet determined the discounted rate.

CMC is the latest 5C to publicly announce it won’t increase tuition and/or room and board costs for the upcoming school year. The Pomona College Board of Trustees voted in May to freeze tuition at $54,380 but increased room and board costs by $602.

The decision is “one of a series of steps to assist students and families during this period of hardship,” Pomona President G. Gabrielle Starr and other administrators told students via email May 21. 

Pomona will also temporarily waive the minimum student contribution fee of $1,900 to $2,200 — required of most domestic students receiving financial aid to help pay for some college costs — and replace it with a scholarship for the 2020-2021 academic year, TSL previously reported.

Harvey Mudd College will likewise freeze tuition costs, room and board costs and the ASHMC student body fee at 2019-2020 levels, Mudd President Maria Klawe told parents in an email June 4. 

Tuition costs will be $58,359, room costs will be $10,234, board costs will be $8,445 and the student body fee will be $301.

In contrast to CMC, tuition costs have been definitively set regardless of the mode of instruction, and “will not be refunded in the event that instruction occurs remotely for any part of the academic year,” Klawe said.

Under the released plans for the fall semester, students will have the opportunity to leave campus at Thanksgiving break and finish the remainder of classes at home.

Mudd students who choose to leave campus will receive room and board credit for days not used, Klawe said in an email to students Thursday.

Scripps College’s tuition, room and board costs for 2020-2021 have increased by 3.9 percent from 2019-2020 levels, according to its website. Tuition costs rose by $2,222, and room and board costs both increased by more than $300.

Pitzer College has not yet publicly announced whether it will increase, decrease or freeze tuition and/or room and board costs, and has not updated its website with tuition costs for the 2020-2021 school year.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Harvey Mudd planned to increase tuition, as its website lists here. TSL regrets this error.
This article was last updated June 13, 2020 at 1:06 p.m.


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