MIT announced Friday a $1,100 tuition increase from $16,900 this year to $18,000 for the 1992-93 academic year. The 6.5 percent increase is the second lowest percentage increase in 20 years; the lowest was 5.9 percent in 1988.
In addition, there will be an average increase of 2.9 percent for housing and six percent for dining. Overall, tuition, room and board will rise from $22,230 this year to $23,565 in 1992-93, an increase of six percent.
The increases, approved by the MIT trustees at their March 6 meeting, were announced by President Charles M. Vest. He noted that tuition historically covers about half the cost of a student's education, with the remainder met by earnings from the endowment and by unrestricted gifts and grants.
While the increases are somewhat higher than the inflation rate, Dr. Vest said that the cost of running a major research university, and maintaining its excellence, is an "expensive proposition." He pointed to modern scientific instruments, computers, high costs of energy and utilities, and the need to stay competitive on faculty salaries in order to attract and keep the best people.
Still, he said, the major issue in setting next year's tuition was to keep the increase as small as possible while supplying sufficient additional income to enable MIT to continue its "need-blind" policy of admitting students on the basis of merit, without regard to their financial circumstances.
He stressed that MIT will meet the full demonstrated financial need of all undergraduate students. About 59 percent of MIT's 4,325 undergraduates receive financial aid through a combination of scholarships, loans and term-time jobs. The average aid for a needy student this year-to help pay the $22,230 cost of tuition, room and board-was $16,600, for a total of $42.2 million. Of that sum, scholarship aid amounted to $28.1 million, with loans accounting for $10.5 million and term-time work $3.6 million.
The university's nominal self-help level-the amount students are expected to provide from loans and term-time work before receiving scholarship assistance-was raised $500 to $6,600, an 8.2 percent increase. MIT reduces the self-help requirements for students from families of very low income by as much as $3,500.
Because students from wealthier families who fail to qualify for financial aid still receive scholarships from outside the financial aid system, it is estimated that only about 20 percent of students and/or their parents pay the full amount.
A version of this article appeared in the March 11, 1992 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 36, Number 23).