Dear members of the Berklee College of Music community,
The Berklee Board of Trustees has approved an overall increase of 2.9 percent in tuition, room and board, and mandatory fees for its on-campus college undergraduate programs for the 2019–2020 academic year. This includes a 3.45 percent increase in tuition and a 1.5 percent increase in room and board fees.
The college is continuing its multiyear effort of holding cost increases down to the lowest level possible while eliminating tuition increases for hundreds of students with institutional scholarships and grants through the Berklee Achievement Grant program. Information about this program is available here.
Tuition Rates and Financial Aid
On-campus college undergraduate tuition for the 2019–2020 academic year will be $44,360—an increase of $1,480 from the current year’s tuition. Total tuition, room and board, and mandatory fees will increase to $64,300.
Board members also reaffirmed a key component of the college’s multiyear strategy to address affordability through new commitments to financial aid. For the 2020 fiscal year, Berklee’s target for scholarships and financial aid will exceed $67 million for the first time, an increase of more than 21 percent over the past five years.
We understand that affordability continues to be a barrier for our students.Optimizing scholarship support remains a primary focus for Berklee and is an integral part of the newly launched Thrive initiative.
We plan to add even more funding to scholarship support next year through the Thrive Scholarship (login required). This pilot program is for upper semester students who have a GPA of 3.0 or better, have been making consistent academic progress towards their degree, and have demonstrated unmet financial need. We know that students who meet these criteria and have solid plans in place to manage their finances and academic progress are more likely to graduate and continue on to successful creative careers. Therefore, the goal of the Thrive Scholarship is to alleviate some of the financial strain that continuing students face and help them through graduation with scholarship support.
Student Life Update
The three focus areas of Berklee’s Thrive strategy for 2019 and 2020 are to enable students to graduate at higher rates with less debt, to improve the experience students have while here, and to prepare them for sustainable and successful careers. These strategic priorities have and will continue to guide the deployment of Berklee's resources in the years to come, continually enhancing the value of a Berklee education for our alumni, current students, and future students. These efforts can be seen in several initiatives highlighted below.
- The merger with Boston Conservatory continues to build momentum through an increasing number of quality applicants to its programs, including growth in female and international applicants, and the College enrolled the largest percentage of female identifying students in its history: 42 percent. Hundreds of College students have taken advantage of new courses in dance taught by Conservatory faculty, and College and Conservatory students are enrolled together in liberal arts courses, study abroad, and other programs.
- Berklee continues to enhance the academic experience of students across all its campuses by providing new and improved teaching, learning, rehearsal, and study spaces. A new dance studio was opened, and there are also plans to significantly increase the number of practice rooms during the next year.
- The Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice was launched to develop curriculum, programs, and initiatives; curate events; and teach courses exploring the role that jazz can play in the larger struggle for gender justice.
- The opening of the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at 921 Boylston Street, as well as a new Center for Student Success at 939 Boylston Street, further supports our students as they prepare for graduation. To build on our capacity to serve the needs of the Berklee community, we invested in the expansion of our academic advising; diversity and inclusion; equity; health and wellness; and counseling services teams. Extensive opportunities for training and dialogue were held campus-wide, including new sessions on equity at student orientation.
- The Career Center at 921 Boylston Street has served hundreds of students in its new facility. The annual Career Jam introduces students to industry contacts for job and internship opportunities, with this year’s event focusing on women in entertainment.
- Berklee launched the first phase of a multiyear overhaul of its core information systems. This effort will ultimately improve the student experience by enhancing and simplifying registration, scheduling, accounts, and other administrative services, and help us more fully realize the benefits of our merged institution.
“Lower tuition increases are just one part of our multiyear strategy to address affordability,” noted Berklee President Roger H. Brown. “This strategy also includes increasing scholarship support by 5 percent this year to a combined level of over $67 million, including a $2.5 million supplement beyond our normal increases to scholarship support. I’m committed to continuing the expansion of scholarships and financial aid for our students while also investing in initiatives that benefit them.”
Complete details on the costs of attending Berklee are available here.