Hopkins has been ranked the seventh most expensive school in the nation, according to a recently published survey conducted by CampusGrotto.com and published by The Consumerist.
The study ranked perennial leaders, Sarah Lawrence College, George Washington University and New York University ahead of Hopkins, but marked the second year in which Hopkins ranked among the top 10 overall most expensive universities in the country.
Universities were ranked in two lists, one based solely on tuition costs and one based on total cost, with the latter taking room and board and cost of living into account.
According to Paula Burger, dean of Undergraduate Education, said that Hopkins’s location within the city of Baltimore ratcheted up its total cost.
“Urban universities have higher charges because the cost of living is higher,” she said.
Half of the schools ranked ahead of Hopkins are also located in major metropolitan areas.
Burger also claimed that Hopkins tuition was comparable to peer institutions in terms of total cost.
The Ivy League colleges, with significantly larger endowments than Hopkins, ranked lower than Hopkins on the total overall cost list. On the tuition list, Hopkins was within $300 of the tuition of two other Ivy League colleges: the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University.
Hopkins’s cost, according to Burger, was inflated in the ranking due to the inclusion of a one-time, $500 freshman matriculation fee.
She claimed that without the fee, Hopkins would shift in rankings from number seven to number 14. The methodologies of the ranking were unavailable to the News-Letter for this claim.
Vincent Amoroso, director of Student Financial Services, said that though the rankings evaluated total cost of tuition and other fees, they did not take into account the amount of financial aid available to students that would reduce these cost.
“My hope would be that we would rank lower in overall cost in the future,” he wrote in an e-mail to the News-Letter. “However, a similar ranking with increased funding for financial aid programs would also lessen the burden on many of the families at Johns Hopkins.”
Amoroso also said that the rankings were directly related to how peer institutions adjust their own costs. “How Johns Hopkins sets its pricing is only half of the equation,” he wrote.
In terms of tuition costs only, Hopkins ranked at number 31. A similar report, created last year by Forbes based on data from The Chronicle of Higher Education, included both George Washington University and Wesleyan University in the top 10 most expensive universities, while Hopkins did not make the list.
For many students, however, Hopkins tuition and the cost of living in a major metropolitan area is a growing concern.
“My choice to come to Hopkins was a dilemma between choosing this school and a school with better financial aid. With the rising costs, it makes me wonder if it’s worth the investment,” sophomore Rocky Barilla said. “I could have invested my money in a lesser-ranked but more affordable.”