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Tuition for the Wharton School has increased for the 2019-2020 academic year starting from $78,948 to $81,378. 

Credit: Cindy Chen

Top business schools will halt tuition increases in the midst of a nationwide decline in applications. Wharton, however, will raise its first-year tuition from $78,948 to $81,378 for the 2019-2020 academic year. 

Inside Higher Ed reported that tuitions at the Harvard Business School and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business will remain at $73,440 and $72,000 respectively for the upcoming academic year. Both business schools saw a decline in applications for the 2017-2018 academic year, with Harvard at a 4.5 percent decline and UChicago at a 8.2 percent decline. 

Wharton experienced a 6.7 percent decline in MBA applications for the Class of 2020. Despite the decline, its tuition will increase by 3.08 percent this year and the MBA program will continue to enroll roughly 850 students.

Harvard and UChicago administrators cited affordability as the primary motivation for the tuition freeze.

“We constantly think about how we make sure the cost and the financial aid are at a level that they feel really good about the investment,” said Chad Losee, the head of MBA admissions at the Harvard Business School, to Inside Higher Ed.

A 2018 survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council reported a 10.5 percent decrease in international applications to U.S. business schools, while domestic applications decreased by 1.8 percent. Many admissions officials attribute this discrepancy to international concern over the U.S. political climate rather than cost, according to a 2018 survey by Kaplan Test Prep

While U.S. business schools have also seen a decline in international student enrollment, Wharton is an exception according to Poets and Quants, a news website that covers business schools. 

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