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Corporation OKs '95-'96 Tuition Hike
6.5% rise in self-help also approved

By Venkatesh Satish
Associate News Editor

The Institute has officially raised tuition from $20,100 to $21,000 for the 1995-96 academic year. The 4.5 percent increase, which is the lowest in the past 25 years, was announced Friday by President Charles M. Vest following approval Thursday evening by the Executive Committee of the Corporation.

The nominal self-help level, the amount of money MIT expects students to be able to supply for themselves either through loans or term-time work, will rise by $500 to $8,150 next year, a 6.5 percent increase from this year.

With an additional 2.9 percent increase in average housing and dining costs, the overall cost of attending MIT will rise to $27,150, a 4.1 percent increase over this year's figure of $26,080.

The Executive Committee approved the recommendations made earlier by the Academic Council for the increases in self-help and tuition.

Vest said that lowering the annual tuition increases has been a major goal of MIT. "Keeping our education both excellent and affordable is the primary driving force of the current re-engineering of the Institute."

Increases in tuition and self-help will be kept "as low as we can without sacrificing the quality of education," Vest said. He also emphasized that the Institute will endeavor to keep financial aid available to students.

He noted that tuition historically covers about half the cost of a student's education, with the remainder met by earnings from the endowment and by unrestricted gifts and grants.

While Vest concedes that MIT tuition costs and self-help levels are greater than those of comparable institutions, he said that the costs incurred in the education of engineering and science majors, the two most popular areas of interest at MIT, are expensive compared with other fields.

Vest said salary levels and the cost of infrastructure, laboratories, and computing facilities contribute to the difference between MIT and other universities in tuition and self-help level. "Frankly, it is amazing that we can keep our tuition at a level comparable to other world-class universities," he said.

Decreases in government funding of student scholarships over the past decade and continued cuts "will produce strong pressures to increase tuition and cover our costs," Vest said.

"Nationally, the continued retreat from providing financial aid is a sad statement of our values," he said. "Failure to invest in our nation's youth and future is a mistake of the first order. We should all work to reverse this trend."

"I think that the $900 increase is pretty reasonable, especially when you look at past years," said Undergraduate Association President Vijay P. Sankaran '95.

However, Sankaran expressed concern about the increase in the self-help level because of the decrease in funding for paid Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program projects, an important source of money for the self-help that students must meet.

Sankaran, who voiced his concerns at an Academic Council meeting last Thursday, was told by the council that there are a sufficient number of jobs available on campus to meet the needs of students, he said.

"I hope that all colleges and universities realize that [increases in tuition are] becoming increasingly burdensome to both parents and students," Sankaran said.