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4.5 Percent Hike in Tuition Likely

By Shang-Lin Chuang
Associate News Editor

The Academic Council has recommended a 4.5 percent increase in tuition to $21,000, along with a 6.5 percent increase in the self-help level to $8,150, for the 1995-96 academic year, according to Director of Student Financial Aid Stanley G. Hudson.

Self-help is the portion of the financial aid package that is met by term-time earnings and student loans coming from different sources, Hudson said.

The Student Financial Aid Office always "makes sure that resources are available to students," Hudson said. If students cannot meet their expected self-help amount, the office will ensure an access to loan capital and the job market, he said.

The tuition and self-help level recommendations will be brought to the Executive Committee of the Corporation by President Charles M. Vest on Thursday for final approval, according to information prepared for the Academic Council by Vice President for Administration James J. Culliton.

The $8,150 and $21,000 combination of self-help and tuition was chosen over other combinations of $8,100, $8,150, and $8,200 for self-help and $20,900, $21,000, and $21,100 for tuition, according to the series of alternatives for tuition and self-help presented by the SFAO last May.

"The determination of tuition is a difficult process. The tuition has been paying for only half the costs of the Institute in the last 20 years," Culliton said. President Charles M. Vest "is very interested in keeping the tuition as low as possible."

The other half of the costs are being paid for by sources like overhead recoveries, gifts, investments, and returns on investments, Hudson said.

"There is obviously a lot of pressure from a lot of different directions concerning the increase in tuition and self-help," Hudson said. "There are impacts on both the current students and prospective students."

"There is a clear recognition that MIT's commitment to need-blind admission processes is a very expensive proposition," Hudson said. "Both the Institute and the students are paying a higher price for that policy. But the bottom line is that we want to preserve this policy, and we hope the students feel the same way, too," he said.

The costs of facilities, education, laboratories, and salaries of faculty have been consistently rising. To help meet the budget and have MIT remain competitive with other colleges, adjustments in the tuition are necessary, Culliton said.

To remain competitive, MIT has to raise faculty salaries, which are the Institute's largest expenditure. The private sector is very interested in hiring MIT faculty, Hudson said.

The cost of equipment and facilities at MIT also increase at a rate more than that of the Consumer Price Index, Hudson said.

"MIT's biggest source of unrestricted source of income is tuition. It is very valuable, and we use it for operating expenses," Hudson said. "Eighteen percent of the undergraduate tuition is recycled in the financial aid program."

MIT has the highest tuition and self-help levels among comparable universities because "students come from less affluent families," Hudson said. "The endowments at the other schools are higher, and the average financial need of the students are lower."

MIT students can pay more

For 20 years, there has been a consistent increase in the percentage of starting salary used to repay MIT students' loans in the first year after graduation, according to statistics released by the SFAO in January.

"The increase in borrowing is a clear result of paying the additional cost of financial aid at MIT," Hudson said.

"According to the history on the ratio of debt to income, we have found that MIT students are very employable and good job prospects. They are in a position to repay loans," Hudson said.

For this reason, it was decided several years ago that the percent of increase for self-help should be raised above that of the tuition. Students should be able to access resources to help meet the tuition costs, Hudson said.