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Undergraduate financial aid boosted for 2018-19

Financial aid increase of 9.6 percent to offset 3.9 percent rise in tuition and fees.
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MIT will further boost its undergraduate financial aid budget for the 2018-19 academic year to support a dynamic community of talented students and their families. The 9.6 percent increase in financial aid will counterbalance a 3.9 percent increase in tuition and fees.

The Institute will commit $129.9 million for financial aid next year. The net cost for an average MIT student receiving need-based aid will be $23,539 in 2018 — only 10 percent higher than it was almost 20 years ago in 2000 ($21,346).

“We have a long-standing commitment to expanding our financial aid resources,” says Vice Chancellor Ian A. Waitz. “We want to make sure that students and families, especially those who might think we are out of reach in terms of cost, understand that MIT is welcoming and accessible. By removing barriers to talent, we enable exceptional students to attend regardless of need. And once here, the level of financial aid and other resources MIT provides allows students to focus on their education.”

Based upon a study by the Equality of Opportunity Project (analyzing data from 30 million college students from 1999 to 2013), MIT enrolled the highest proportion of students who come from families with annual income of $20,000 or less, relative to its peers. MIT also ranked first in the report’s overall mobility index, compared to the same group. The index measures the likelihood that a student will move up two or more income quintiles after obtaining a degree.

The estimated average MIT scholarship for students receiving financial aid next year is $47,251. More than 30 percent of MIT undergraduates receive aid sufficient to allow them to attend the Institute tuition-free.

For undergraduates who do not receive need-based financial aid, tuition and fees will be $51,832 next year. With average housing and dining costs included, students not receiving financial aid will pay $67,342.

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 past few years, the MIT Admissions Office has enhanced communications and outreach to raise awareness about the accessibility and affordability of the Institute. In addition, other efforts such as the Office of Engineering Outreach Programs, targeting underserved high school students interested in science and engineering fields, continue to demonstrate success: Giving participants a firsthand MIT experience helps to build their confidence and encourages them to apply to MIT or similar institutions in greater numbers.

For students with family incomes under $90,000 a year and typical assets, MIT guarantees that scholarship funding from all sources will allow them to attend the Institute tuition-free. While the Institute’s financial aid program primarily supports students from lower- and middle-income households, 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 57 percent of MIT’s 4,547 undergraduates receive need-based financial aid from the Institute and 18 percent receive Federal Pell Grants, which generally go to U.S. students with family incomes below $60,000.

MIT treats the Pell grant in a unique way to further support low income students. Unlike most other colleges and universities, MIT allows students to use the Pell grant to offset what they are expected to contribute through work-study during the semester and the summer.

Assistance on campus also goes beyond traditional financial aid, ensuring that all incoming students can take advantage of hallmark MIT opportunities such as participating in paid research through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program; engaging in international and public service internships; and pursuing entrepreneurial ideas with appropriate mentorship and seed funding.

In 2017, 71 percent of MIT seniors graduated with no debt; of those who did assume debt to finance their education, the median indebtedness at graduation was $16,192.

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