The Office of Admissions and Financial Aid serves as a resource for exploring ways to finance one’s education.

Student eligibility for federal and institutional aid is determined by federal and/or institutional guidelines.

Institutional support and aid resources are very limited. Students are encouraged to make a conscientious effort to obtain financial support from outside fellowships, private sources, or from their employing agencies before seeking funds from the School.

The Office of Admissions and Financial Aid is located at 124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 165, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Financial Matters

Students can find more information on financial assistance and financial assistance policies on MYFAID, KNet, and my.harvard.

Harvard University’s Student Accounts Office (SAO) sends bills to students each semester.

The first notification of students’ account charges is e-mailed in July. Students will not be permitted to register for fall classes if they do not pay all charges from the previous year as well as their fall charges by September registration. Similarly, students may not register for the spring semester if they have a prior balance on their student account.

Students receive notification of their account status—including new charges—each month by e-mail; they are routed to a secure site where they can view their account using their HarvardKey and password. Payments may be made electronically or by check. Credit cards are not accepted.

Charges for tuition and fees must be paid in full by the due dates indicated on the student account. Any student whose indebtedness to the University remains unpaid after the designated payment due dates may be charged a $250 late payment fee. Students should be in contact with the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid as soon as any extenuating circumstances arise that prevent them from resolving their outstanding balance. Students may petition via the Registrar for an exception to the late payment fee if there are unusual and compelling circumstances such as a serious medical or personal emergency.

Harvard University has instructed banks to redeposit any returned checks submitted as payment for students’ bills; there is a charge assessed for dishonored checks. If a student’s account indicates a history of dishonored checks, the University may also require that future payments be made in cash or by certified bank check.

If students’ scholarships/fellowships and loans are greater than the amount due on the bill (including any rent due for the rest of the semester), they will receive a refund for the credit amount after the beginning of the semester.

Commencement note: Graduating students must pay all billed charges prior to Commencement. This includes rent charges from HRES for June and July if the lease extends beyond May of the graduating year.

See our current tuition and fees.

Course materials fee

The course materials fee supports the cost of rights and permissions clearance for those readings that are not otherwise freely available. Most course materials are made available through Canvas, our learning management software at Harvard.

Student activity fee

The student activity fees support student-run events for HKS students throughout the year, including formals and other student government-run events, student organization events, and student conferences.

If students take a leave of absence or withdraw from HKS, they will not have their fees refunded. The Harvard University Health Services site includes details about the student health insurance fee if they take a leave of absence or withdraw.

If a student is placed on a leave of absence or must withdraw, how much tuition will he/she/they owe for that semester?*

If You Leave: % of Tuition Owed
Fall Term  
After the first day of class up to and including ADD deadline of September 8 0%
After the ADD deadline but before October 15 25%
On or after October 15 but before November 5 50%
On or after November 5 but before the final DROP deadline 75%
On or after the final DROP deadline 100%
Spring Term  
After the first day of class up to and including ADD deadline of February 2 0%
After the ADD deadline but before March 15 25%
On or after March 15 but before April 5 50%
On or after April 5 but before the final DROP deadline 75%
On or after the final DROP deadline 100%

* Students receiving financial assistance will typically have their assistance adjusted consistent with the changes in charges. Students borrowing federal loans will have federal loans adjusted consistent with Federal Return of Title IV aid regulations.

Yes, a monthly payment plan is available for a fee. If students receive financial assistance and choose the monthly payment plan, they can deduct the amount of their anticipated loans and scholarships/fellowships for the term and pay one-quarter of the balance plus the payment plan fee.

Prior year charges as well as charges for the MC/MPA Program and the MC/MPA Mason Program fee cannot be included in the monthly payment plan and must be paid in full in addition to the first quarterly monthly payment of academic year charges.

Once enrolled, payment plan installments must be paid by the due date each month. Students who do not pay their installments on time or fail to meet their terms will be ineligible to participate in the payment plan in the future.

As a courtesy, the Student Accounts Office (SAO) will send an invoice (tuition and mandatory fees only) to a third party only if students have arranged a personal agreement for payment with a sponsoring agency. Students are required to provide documentation of the agreement and complete the external resource verification process outlined on the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid KNet page.

  • Students will continue to receive monthly billing announcements regardless of payment arrangements; they are ultimately responsible for managing their student account to ensure that all charges are paid. As a result, students should remain in close contact with their sponsoring agency regarding the sponsorship.
  • Sponsored students must pay those charges that their sponsor is not covering. Sponsors will be billed in August for the fall term and December for the spring term; students’ accounts are credited as soon as payment is received. If their sponsor fails to pay the agreed upon amounts, students will be responsible for paying these charges.
  • Harvard housing will be charged to students’ accounts. Even if sponsoring organizations are covering their housing charges, Harvard cannot bill sponsors directly for housing. It is students’ responsibility to arrange housing payments directly with their sponsors.

Harvard University adheres to the requirements of and complies with S2248 PL 1150497 Section 103.

Harvard University will not impose a late fee on students utilizing Chapter 33 and Chapter 31 benefits due to disbursement delays on the part of the VA. Additionally, Harvard University will not prevent a student from attending classes or demand payment in advance for funds expected to be paid by the VA until at least 90 days post certification. Under this policy, Harvard University defines a covered individual as any student that has notified the University that they are eligible to receive Chapter 33 or Chapter 31 benefits in writing prior to the start of the academic term in which they plan to use those benefits. Covered individuals will see the amount anticipated from the VA on their student account in the form of Anticipated Aid for Chapter 33 or a third-party deferment for Chapter 31. If the VA fails to pay 90 days post certification, Harvard reserves the right to require payment from the student directly.

Contact the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid for more information about GI Bill® benefits.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by the VA is available on the official U.S. Government website.

Yes, the student budget is calculated based upon projected educational expenses during a 9- or 10-month academic program. Estimated annually, budgets include tuition, fees, health insurance, books, transportation and personal and living expenses. Budgets may be adjusted for other education expenses (e.g., computers and daycare expenses).

Financial aid will be credited to students’ accounts each semester as stated on MYFAID. Funds are available on or after registration day of each term. Federal funds will be distributed evenly between semesters of enrollment.

HKS funds will also typically be distributed evenly over the two semesters but may vary depending on the degree program. Before any funds can be disbursed, students must accept their offer of financial assistance on MYFAID and submit all requested documentation.

Friends of the School—donors, alumni, Visiting Committee members, Dean’s Council and various advisory boards—are sources of financial support for HKS students. The HKS Office of Admissions and Financial Aid distributes financial support in keeping with the School’s objectives. Students are prohibited from soliciting the School’s supporters directly.

Students borrowing federal loans are required to complete promissory notes and student loan entrance counseling. If the proceeds of their loan exceed the balance due on their student bill, a refund will be prepared by the first week of classes for each semester. Federal loan borrowers will also be required to complete student loan exit counseling before graduating, taking a leave of absence, withdrawing, or otherwise dropping below half-time enrollment.

See the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid KNet page for more information.

Consumer information is available to current students as well as prospective students, in accordance with federal consumer information regulations. They may contact the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid to request a hard copy of this information.