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MIT to allocate record $103.4 million next year to ensure affordability

Undergraduate financial aid budget to grow 8.8 percent; tuition and fees will rise 3.75 percent.
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Underscoring its commitment to preserving broad access to MIT, the Institute will allocate $103.4 million next year to ensure affordability for its 4,500 undergraduate students — the first time MIT’s annual financial aid budget will exceed $100 million.

For the 2015-16 school year, the undergraduate financial aid budget will grow 8.8 percent, while undergraduate tuition and fees will increase 3.75 percent. The figures were announced today at a meeting of the MIT Corporation.

The sharp increase in the Institute’s financial aid budget reflects the commitment of an added $3.2 million to reduce what students are expected to contribute to their education through work and loans.

MIT’s $103.4 million budget for undergraduate financial aid next year is a dramatic increase from the $30.5 million spent in 2000 — a sustained rate of growth that far exceeds that of tuition and fee increases during the same period. For students with family incomes under $75,000 a year, MIT will continue to guarantee that scholarship funding from all sources allows them to attend the Institute tuition-free. 

“MIT provides most of the financial aid its undergraduates receive,” says Dennis Freeman, dean for undergraduate education. “Next year we will have $103.4 million available to award in need-based scholarships that do not need to be repaid. This represents a significant increase in our financial aid budget, which will not only cover the increase in charges, but lower the net price for all students with financial need.”

While MIT’s financial aid program primarily supports students from lower- and middle-income families, even families earning more than $200,000 may qualify for need-based financial aid based on their family circumstances, such as if two or more children are in college at the same time. For undergraduates who do not receive need-based financial aid, total estimated expenses will be $60,434 next year, including $46,704 in tuition and fees, along with average housing and dining costs.

MIT is one of a small handful of institutions that admits all of its undergraduate students without regard to their financial circumstances, awards all of its financial aid based on need, and meets the full demonstrated financial need of all admitted students.

About 59 percent of MIT’s 4,510 undergraduates receive need-based financial aid from the Institute, including 32 percent who attend MIT tuition-free and 18 percent who receive Federal Pell Grants, which generally go to students with family incomes below $60,000.

Students receiving need-based financial aid from MIT, as well as Pell Grants, continue to benefit from MIT’s Pell Grant Matching Program, which helps such students to graduate with little or no debt. That program was created in 2006 to allow MIT students to use their Pell Grants to defray what they are expected to contribute to their education through work and loans.

Last year, 60 percent of MIT seniors graduated with no debt; of those who did assume debt to finance their education, the median indebtedness at graduation was $13,000.

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