Duke Trustees Set Tuition, Reappoint President at Quarterly Meeting

Duke University’s Board of Trustees reviewed a range of issues during its quarterly meeting that concluded on Saturday.

In their business meeting, the trustees had an extensive discussion of and then approved a 3.5% increase in the total cost of attendance for undergraduates during the 2021-22 academic year.  This marks the first rise in tuition and fees since 2019. Duke undergraduate tuition in 2021-22 will be $58,085, a 3.9% increase, and the total cost for the next academic year, including tuition, room, board and fees, will be $76,270. 

In 2020, Duke rescinded a planned 3.5% increase for the current academic year in recognition of the financial stress on many families. At the same time, the pandemic has required significant new investments in COVID-19 mitigation efforts to ensure the health and safety of Duke students and employees. The university anticipates returning to full on-campus activity in Fall 2021.

The board also reaffirmed the university’s longstanding commitment to creating access through need-blind admissions and a comprehensive financial aid program, including increases as necessary to meet changing needs of students and families as a result of COVID-19. This continues Duke’s place among a small number of colleges and universities that admit U.S. students without regard to their ability to pay and then meet their full demonstrated financial need.  Duke’s financial aid packages include support for study abroad, summer programs and other components of the undergraduate experience.

More than half of all Duke students from a wide range of family incomes receive some form of financial assistance, including aid based on family resources, athletics and endowed competitive scholarships. Over the past 10 years, Duke has invested more than $1.5 billion in financial assistance for undergraduate students from all income levels.

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While financial assistance varies based on family income and other circumstances, the average total financial aid package for first-year students who entered in 2020 and qualified for assistance was $55,368. Approximately 22.5% of students in the entering class of 2020 received financial aid grants that covered their full cost of tuition.

Tuition and fees pay for only part of the cost of a Duke education. Other significant sources of support for students and financial aid include income generated by the university’s endowment and private philanthropy from individuals and foundations. 

The Board of Trustees also approved new tuition rates for Duke’s graduate and professional schools, which include a number of full-time, part-time and online programs. 

In other business, the trustees:

  • Unanimously reappointed President Vince E. Price to a second five-year term starting July 1, 2022.
  • Participated in a strategic education session led by Chancellor A. Eugene Washington, M.D., and other senior leaders that reviewed the history, mission and operations of Duke Health, the university’s academic medical center that encompasses the Duke Schools of Medicine and Nursing, the Duke-NUS Medical School, the hospitals and clinics of the Duke University Health System and the Private Diagnostic Clinic, Duke’s independent faculty physician practice plan. The trustees also discussed Duke Health’s Clinical Enterprise Strategic Plan and its five principal aims.
  • Received updates on Duke’s ongoing COVID-related activity, including Strategy Teams 2021 and 2030 and the rollout of the vaccine.
  • Reviewed the progress of Duke Kunshan University (DKU) with Alfred Bloom, the new Executive Vice Chancellor of DKU.
  • Were briefed on the progress of the university’s research, translation and commercialization initiative.
  • Welcomed and adopted a resolution of tribute to Jamal Burns and Kendall Jefferys, who were selected for the Rhodes Scholarship in 2020.

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