MIT has set tuition and fees for 2007-2008 and has budgeted an additional $7 million for financial aid enhancements, bringing its total undergraduate financial aid budget to $68 million, President Susan Hockfield announced.
"The world needs the kind of leaders and thinkers who graduate from MIT. By finding innovative ways to enhance our strong, entirely need-based financial aid program, we are ensuring that an MIT undergraduate education is affordable to all of our admitted students, without regard to their economic circumstances," Hockfield said.
Tuition and fees for the upcoming academic year will increase 4.1 percent to $34,986, while undergraduate financial aid will increase 11.7 percent.
Daniel Hastings, dean for undergraduate education, noted that the Institute has steadily increased financial aid over the past eight years. "Our commitment to making MIT affordable for all who qualify for admission has been unfaltering. This year, as in seven previous years, MIT has increased funds available for financial aid by a factor greater than the increase in tuition. The result: The net price an average student or family pays for an undergraduate MIT education has actually dropped," Hastings said.
Overall, the average MIT scholarship is more than $28,000, supported by endowed funds, gifts from alumni and general Institute funds. Sixty-four percent of undergraduates qualify for need-based financial aid. In 2006-2007, 23 percent of undergraduates pay no tuition, thanks to the Institute's financial aid program, Hockfield noted.
A new program beginning in the 2007-08 academic year will further amplify MIT's financial aid portfolio. Beginning next year, MIT will guarantee funding for a paid research opportunity through the Institute's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) for all upperclassmen who receive financial aid. About 85 percent of MIT undergraduates participate in UROP over the course of their studies at the Institute.
One of the earliest programs of its kind in the United States, MIT's UROP invites undergraduates to participate in research as the junior colleagues of Institute faculty. The UROP program has given generations of undergraduates their first hands-on experiences with research and has opened the doors to ongoing relationships with faculty, Hastings noted.
The new UROP funds will help students who are interested in term-time work to earn money by doing research as junior members of MIT's faculty. "MIT is taking its undergraduate financial aid program to a new level through coherent, guaranteed financial aid awards such as these," Hastings said.
In December, Hockfield announced MIT's intention to launch a major fundraising effort to support undergraduate and graduate education and student life. Over the next five years, MIT plans to raise significant funds to support undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, initiatives growing out of the report of the Task Force on the Undergraduate Educational Commons and programmatic and capital investments in student life.
MIT took a leadership role in the national debate on financial aid just one year ago, when it became the first private university to announce a Pell Grant matching program to ensure the accessibility and affordability for all qualified students.
Fourteen percent of MIT undergraduates receive Pell Grants, which usually are awarded to students from families earning less than $40,000 a year. Since 2006, it has been possible for Pell Grant recipients to graduate from MIT with little or no debt.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 7, 2007 (download PDF).