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The Dickinsonian

The student news site of Dickinson College.

The Dickinsonian

The student news site of Dickinson College.

The Dickinsonian

Dickinson Surpasses the $80,000 mark in Tuition


Dickinson’s annual price for tuition, housing, food and fees will increase by 3.5% – from $79,950 to $82,750 – for the 2024-2025 academic year.

In a letter to parents, on Feb. 15, Dickinson President John E. Jones claimed that despite the rise in costs, “Dickinson’s average increase has been less than the increases at our peer institutions.” He assured students that Dickinson will continue to meet student’s financial aid, based on each student’s individual situation, but did not guarantee a direct increase to every student’s aid.

When compared to peer institutions, it rings true that Dickinson is slightly less expensive. Other small liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania, such as Swarthmore, Haverford, and Lafayette, billed students $81,376, $86,900, and $80,864 respectively.

Dickinson’s billed costs are also not far behind some of the leading universities in the country. The likes of Harvard, Yale, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology billed students $82,950, $83,880, and $82,730 respectively through the 2023-2024 academic year.

In a meeting with The Dickinsonian, Jones addressed Dickinson’s cost in comparison to Ivy League institutions. “The fact of the matter is that if you look at the average price per student, it’s far less than the sticker price,” said Jones. “I agree that the sticker price is comparable to some of the Ivy League, but it’s also comparable to our peer schools.”

He lamented the difficulty of keeping tuition low at a private university. “The sad fact is that costs of operating a college inevitably go up. Increase in tuition is meant to keep pace with increasing costs, nothing more,” said Jones. 

The president also explained that he does believe the College is affordable, given the $60 million distributed annually in scholarships and aid. He added that the College is  constantly trying to “keep pace” with scholarships. 

87% of Dickinson students receive aid, regardless of financial need while the College meets 100% of demonstrated financial need according to the College’s Financial Aid Office. Dickinson has also increased the prestigious Presidential Scholarship from $35,000 per academic year to $45,000 for students applying for fall of 2024. 

However, there have been no increases in any other of the College’s scholarships. “I’m sure that there are a lot of people including me who went to this school because they got a scholarship and because it was a cheaper option,” said Anthony Verdi ’26. “If your scholarship isn’t increasing alongside that it makes you reevaluate your choice to the College in the first place.”

Jones said that the value of a Dickinson education ultimately equals the cost. “The value proposition is something that the market measures,” said Jones. “Your popularity in the market is a result of the quality of the education. Our Dickinson students by every mark that we have are successful when they graduate.”

Dickinson’s graduation rate is 83%, with 95% of students achieving employment, an internship, or graduate school within a year of graduation. For Dickinson students who decide to pursue graduate studies in medicine and law Dickinson boasts a 92% acceptance rate to medical schools and 96% acceptance rate to law schools.

“I think obviously every college has to increase tuition to keep up with inflation,” said Sophie Bailey ’25. “But it’s disappointing to see those prices going up, especially with housing costs because I think people would agree there’s problems with housing on campus. To see those prices continue to go up when there’s not really a lot of changes being made is really disappointing.”

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