Fall semester tuition reduced for those not invited back to campus

July 22, 2020

Illustration by Deborah Han

Georgetown announced changes in Fall 2020 tuition, housing, and dining charges on July 21 in an email to undergraduates and their families. The email also reiterated the university’s fall semester plans to house approximately 2,000 students on campus and to alter the semester’s calendar. 

For the fall semester, the roughly 5,500 Main Campus undergraduate students who are not invited back to campus will receive a 10 percent reduction in tuition charges. The email from Provost Robert Groves and Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Geoffrey Chatas stated that the university made this decision “in recognition that undergraduate students who return to campus will have access to certain services that will be unavailable to off-campus students.” Students that have been invited to live on campus will be charged the previously announced tuition for Fall 2020, a 3.5 percent increase from the Fall 2019 rate.

The 2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin reflects these reductions, with tuition per semester for full-time students on-campus listed as $28,692 and the tuition per semester for full-time students not invited back to campus for Fall 2020 listed as $25,823. This tuition reduction applies to part-time students as well, with the tuition per credit for part-time students on-campus as $2,391 compared to $2,152 for part-time students not invited back to campus. 

The university also announced in the email that housing and dining charges will be reduced by 20 percent for the undergraduate students invited back to campus.  According to the email, this change was made in recognition of the shorter semester, with most on-campus students leaving on Nov. 20, and the “impacts of the health precautions on residence life.” Additionally, the 20 percent reduction in housing will be based on the lower double-occupancy rate instead of the higher single-occupancy rate, despite each on-campus student being placed in a single room. Students not invited back to campus in the fall will not pay room and board fees. 

The email also noted that if prior to the start of the Fall 2020 semester, public health concerns prohibit having any undergraduates living on campus, all undergraduates would receive the 10 percent tuition reduction. 

The university has yet to clarify exactly how these changes will impact students’ offers of financial aid for the semester. According to the Fall 2020 Tuition, Fees, Housing and Dining Charges FAQ on the university’s Revenue and Receivables website, the Office of Student Financial Services will revise financial aid offers to reflect the updated costs included in the “Cost of Attendance” that is used to calculate eligibility for financial aid programs. It’s also noted that for students not invited back to campus, the newly discounted rate will be used in calculating the new financial aid packages. Because most financial aid is given to supplement the expected family contribution, not as a percent of all charges, it seems likely students on aid will not see a substantial decrease in charges from the university. 

Though a July 7 email from Vice President Todd Olson mentioned a “modest living allowance” for students off-campus who receive aid, that was not mentioned in the most recent update. Financial aid information is expected to be released by the end of July.

While the majority of undergraduates will see a decrease in tuition, none of Georgetown’s graduate students will receive a tuition reduction for the Fall 2020 semester. The Revenue and Receivables FAQs noted that since many graduate classes will be conducted in a hybrid format, graduate students will be able to participate in their studies at least partly in-person in the classroom. It was stated that the tuition reduction for the undergraduates not invited back to campus is in recognition of the residential experience and on-campus services that will be unavailable to them and that graduate students already live off-campus. 

As with the Fall 2020 plan announcement, the university explicitly stated that they had not made any decisions regarding the 2021 Spring semester, including possible tuition or housing cost reductions.

Annabella Hoge
Annabella was a student in the college, class of 2023, who enjoys watching Dodger games, talking about her disco thesis, and drawing angry creatures. She was also the Spring 2023 Editor-in-Chief.

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