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Financial aid gains to offset tuition increase for 2017-18

Tuition and fees increase of 3 percent is the smallest percentage rise since 1970.
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MIT will increase its financial aid budget for the 2017-18 academic year, benefiting a broad range of students and families and offsetting a 3 percent increase in tuition and fees — the smallest percentage increase since 1970.

The tuition and financial aid figures were announced at today’s MIT faculty meeting.

The Institute’s $118.5 million budget for undergraduate financial aid next year is up sharply from the $30.5 million allocated in 2000 — a sustained rate of growth far exceeding tuition and fee increases during the same period.

Because of this growth in the Institute’s financial aid budget, the average net price for an MIT student receiving need-based aid next year is projected to be only 0.7 percent higher than in 2000 — $21,487 in 2017, compared to $21,346 in 2000 — and significantly lower when inflation is taken into account.

“Next year’s financial aid budget will give more students and families critical support, and it will help reduce the burdens and stress that understandably come with managing college education costs,” says Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart. “Additionally, this budget reflects MIT’s staunch commitment to removing barriers to talent and to making the Institute more affordable and accessible for all of our scholars.”

As part of the coming year’s increase in the financial aid budget, student self-help costs — the amount students with financial aid are asked to contribute through loans and term-time work — will decrease from $5,500 to $3,400, giving students more freedom to pursue their studies and extracurricular activites.

With these changes, the average MIT scholarship, for students receiving financial aid, will increase to an estimated $45,943. One-third of MIT undergraduates receive aid sufficient to allow them to attend the Institute tuition-free; the new financial aid budget is expected to increase the number of students who fall into this category.

For undergraduates who do not receive need-based financial aid, tuition and fees will be $49,892 next year. With average housing and dining costs included, students not receiving financial aid will pay $64,612 next year.

MIT is one of only five American colleges and universities that currently admit all undergraduate students without regard to their financial circumstances, award all financial aid based on need, and meet the full demonstrated financial need of all admitted students.

In the coming academic year, for students with family incomes under $90,000 per year and typical assets, MIT guarantees that scholarship funding from all sources allows them to attend the Institute tuition-free. While the Institute’s financial aid program primarily supports students from lower- and middle-income families, even families earning more than $250,000 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.

About 60 percent of MIT’s 4,524 undergraduates receive need-based financial aid from the Institute, including 33 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 the unique MIT Pell Grant Program, which helps students to graduate with little or no debt. That program was created in 2006 to allow MIT students to use their Pell Grants in place of work and loans to defray what they are expected to contribute to their education.

In 2016, 72 percent of MIT seniors graduated with no debt; of those who did assume debt to finance their education, the median indebtedness at graduation was $16,703.

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