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MIT OKs 4.8 Percent Tuition Hike to $22,000

By A. Arif Husain

Tuition for the 1996-97 academic year has been raised 4.8 percent to $22,000, a $1,000 increase over last year.

The Institute's "nominal self-help level" - the amount of payment students are expected to provide from work and loans before receiving scholarship assistance - also increased $450, or 5.5 percent, to $8,600.

The announcement was made by President Charles M. Vest, after the increase was approved by the MIT Corporation on March 1.

Room and board costs are estimated to increase 3.3 percent. This puts the overall estimated cost of education at $28,350, a 4.4 percent increase over last year.

Tuition represents one of three major sources of revenue, Vest said in the announcement. Other sources include research funding from the federal government and private industry, and gift and investment income.

Vest noted that tuition historically covers only half the cost of a student's education with the remainder covered by endowment and unrestricted gifts and grants.

Self-help level considered high

"I'm rather disappointed that [tuition] was raised as much as it was, considering that the majority of peer institutions have a much lower self-help level; generally about $7,000," Undergraduate Association President Carrie R. Muh '96 said.

Muh argued for a lowering of the self-help level at a past Academic Council meeting, if tuition were to be raised as it was.

"The fact is," Muh said, "it still costs more than $22,000 for a student to attend the Institute, and I hope that financial aid can help out the students who need it."

Few students pay in full

Of the 4,480 undergraduates registered this year, 59 percent receive some combination of financial aid comprising scholarships, loans and work-study programs.

MIT pays out $27.2 million in scholarship grants, of a total of $34.2 million including outside sources. Loans and student jobs account for an additional $22 million.

Because students who do not qualify for need-based financial aid often receive other scholarships, it is estimated that only about 29 percent of students pay the full amount.

While tuition reflects the realities of the economy, by moderating its rate of growth and making financial aid available, MIT will remain accessible to bright students regardless of the family's income, Vest said.