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Tuition & Expenses

Cost of attendance includes financial obligations directly associated with your attendance at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS).

In constructing the cost of attendance for the current academic year, a “modest but livable” standard was applied. This presumes that students will generally not maintain the same standard of living they did when they were employed and may mean having a roommate rather than living by oneself, cooking at home rather than dining out, and other similar alterations in living standards. The cost of attendance calculation uses approximately $2,900 per month for living expenses.

Only the academic year is covered by the cost of attendance. The academic year for two-year students begins in August and lasts for nine months, ending in May. The academic year for one-year Mid-Career students begins in July and lasts for ten months, ending in May. The academic year for one-year Mason Fellows begins in July and lasts for eleven months, ending in May. Even though students may have incurred expenses prior to this period, these prior expenses cannot be included in the cost of attendance. For example, if a two-year student begins a lease in July with Harvard Affiliated Housing, the rent for July and August are not part of the academic year and therefore cannot be included in the cost of attendance. 

To view actual student budgets, see: Domestic Student Budget, International Student Budget, and Mason Program Budget

Below is a summary of the types of expenses that can—and cannot—be included in the cost of attendance:

Expenses that Can be Included

Expenses that Cannot be Included

  • Tuition 
  • Fees 
  • Medical Insurance
  • Health Services Fee
  • Activity Fee 
  • Rent (up to a maximum ceiling)
  • Food 
  • Books and supplies
  • Unreimbursed medical expenses incurred during the academic year
  • Computer purchased for attendance in the program
  • Local travel (not including car and car insurance payments)
  • Daycare costs
  • Expenses associated with a disability
  • Credit card payments
  • Gym memberships
  • Dependent care expenses (other than daycare necessary to attend classes) 
  • Smartphones, iPads or similar tablets
  • Travel unrelated to attendance in the program
  • Any expenses incurred prior to the beginning of the academic year 

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