Tuition is the major source of income to support the cost of undergraduate education. Most of the remaining cost is generously funded by gifts from the university's alumni and friends and from income from the university's endowment.
In setting the tuition rate, our emphasis is on being able to hire a high-caliber faculty and to offer extensive opportunities to our students. For the 2020-21 academic year, the tuition rate also reflects, among other things, the cost of comprehensive measures we are taking that are necessary to enhance the safety of all members of our community.
Tuition for the 2020-21 academic year is $28,150 per semester for full-time study. Full-time study is considered to be 12 to 18 units. If students enroll in more than 21 units per semester, they will pay additional tuition of $2,346 for each credit unit beyond the 21.
If the public health situation changes such that the university must suspend in-person classes, instruction will be provided remotely or through other alternative means, and there will be no tuition refunds based on that transition. If a student chooses to withdraw, entitlement to a partial refund will be determined in accordance with normal refund policies.
First-year, first-semester students may register over the summer or after beginning orientation programs closer to the start of the fall semester. For all subsequent semesters, continuing students have the chance to register in spring for the following fall semester and in fall for the following spring semester. Students will typically be billed for tuition in July for the fall semester and in December for the spring semester. Students must pay tuition by the date specified on the bill or they will incur a late fee.
If a student cannot afford to pay the full tuition bill, they should explore the university's extensive financial assistance opportunities, which are described in the Financial Support section of this Bulletin.
Many families prefer to pay educational expenses on a monthly basis. The Installment Payment Plan allows students and families to spread all or part of the academic year's expenses over equal monthly payments. The Washington University Partners in Education with Parents (PEP) plan may provide tax savings for some families and offers monthly payment options over a period as long as 10 years at a competitive, fixed interest rate. The PEP plan is described in the Financial Support section of this Bulletin.
A student's family should begin planning for educational costs as soon as possible following the decision to enroll. It is important to allow sufficient time to complete financial arrangements prior to registration.
Student Activities: The mandatory student activities fee is 1% of tuition; for the 2020-21 academic year, it is $281 per semester. This special fee may vary from year to year. Information about the fee may be obtained from the Department of Campus Life.
Student Health and Wellness: Washington University has a student health and wellness fee designed to improve the health and wellness of the entire Washington University community. The fee of $262 is billed to the student tuition statement each semester. In addition, to protect the health of our entire community, the university requires all full-time degree-seeking students to have health insurance. Students either must purchase the Washington University Student Health Insurance Plan or prove that they have adequate coverage through another plan. The cost of the Washington University Student Health Insurance Plan, as well as instructions for obtaining a waiver through proof of adequate coverage, will be provided to enrolled students.
Late Registration: Students may register for classes through the end of the second week of the semester. If students register after the second week, they must do so through the dean's office, and they may be assessed a late registration fee of $100 per week. A late payment fee and/or a monthly finance charge may also be assessed by the dean's office if payment in full is not made with late registration.
The late registration fee is not applicable to graduate resident and nonresident candidates. Students in University College programs will incur a flat late fee of $50.
Returned Checks: The university assesses a service charge for handling and processing returned checks.
First-year, transfer and exchange students are required to pay a deposit upon admission to Washington University. The enrollment deposit is nonrefundable. The enrollment deposit will be used to cover costs associated with "Bear Beginnings," the new student orientation program, and an additional orientation program for international students.
- $500 for domestic first-year students
- $750 for international first-year students
- $250 for domestic transfer students
- $500 for international transfer students
- $500 for exchange students
Leaves from the University and Refunds
The College of Arts & Sciences, the Olin Business School, the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, and the McKelvey School of Engineering have similar policies on leaves and refunds for their undergraduate programs. Please note that the policies for withdrawals from the university follow a similar process and refund schedule. To request a leave or withdrawal, the student will need to notify their school in writing.
Tuition Refund Schedule (as of Fall 2020)
|1st or 2nd week of classes||100%|
|3rd or 4th week of classes||80%|
|5th or 6th week of classes||60%|
|7th or 8th week of classes||50%|
|9th or 10th week of classes||40%|
|After 10th week of classes||0%|
Refunds are calculated based on the date the student notifies the university of withdrawal.
Students who wish to take a medical leave of absence should start that process with the Habif Health and Wellness Center. Schools will refund tuition according to the tuition refund schedule. They may take into account the date at which the student was no longer able to participate in course activities; for instance, the schools will routinely base a refund on the date of a hospitalization if that is the point from which the student was no longer able to attend class.
If a Federal Title IV aid recipient takes a leave or withdraws from school before the end of the academic semester, Washington University must refund (send loan funds back to the lender) the unearned (amount of time in the academic semester that the student did not attend) amount of Title IV funds. Unearned Title IV funds will be returned to the Title IV program. Students will be responsible for any disbursed but unearned portion of their Title IV funds.
Changes in Fees
The university reserves the right to change the fees stated or to establish additional fees at any time without prior written notice. When fee changes or additions are made, they become effective with the next payment due.
Nonpayment of Fees
Nonpayment of tuition or other charges due the university or otherwise affecting the university will prohibit the student from receiving certain services. Students with outstanding financial obligations to the university will not be allowed to register or to obtain transcripts or official verification of enrollment.