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Financial Aid, Tuition To Increase Next Year

By Diana S. Cheng


MIT announced it would increase financial aid grants for next year by almost 20 percent - the largest percentage increase ever - at the same time it raises tuition.

The estimated total cost for undergraduate tuition, room, and board will rise 3.7 percent to $34,460 for 2001-2002, and the average need-based financial aid grant will increase by 19 percent to $24,600, according to a press release.

The tuition increase is the lowest percentage hike since 1970, MIT spokesman Kenneth D. Campbell said.

Undergraduate tuition will be raised 3.5 percent to $26,970. The estimated cost for housing will jump 5.2 percent to $4,075, and the estimated boarding costs will increase 3.8 percent to $3,475.

MIT will also decrease by $2,000 the amount of self-help students are expected to contribute to the cost of their education. This change should reduce the number of hours worked or amount of loans borrowed by students on financial aid.

The total cost of an MIT education is 1.9 to 2.05 times the student budget, Campbell said. Alumni funds pay for the balance of the expenses.

Aid hike designed to help students

“This increase in financial aid is part of a $600 million program to enhance student life and learning at MIT,” President Charles M. Vest said in a press release. “We are raising $100 million for undergraduate financial aid and $200 million for graduate fellowships, and we have committed another $300 million to major innovations in our educational programs, to four student residences and a state-of-art sports and fitness center.”

“We are already seeing many exciting experiments in teaching, and we expect that these new investments will really improve the educational experience for our students,” Dean for Undergraduate Education Robert P. Redwine said in the same press release.

Campbell said that the number of students who receive aid is “expected to go up [because of a decrease in] loans and self-help.” The current estimate is that approximately 2,100 additional students will receive aid. “If it turns out there’s more need, we’ll meet that need,” Campbell said.

Student reaction to changes mixed

Many students were excited about the increase in financial aid but less pleased with the tuition increase.

Daniel J. Park ’01 said, “I’m not surprised they raised [the tuition].”

Fred S. Lee G said, “What I don’t understand is that [although] tuition is only [a small portion] of MIT’s income, they keep raising the tuition.”

J. Marisha Youngblood ’02, who receives financial aid from MIT, said, “I think [the aid increase] is wonderful. I think they have a wonderful system here -- it’s totally based on need.”

Seventy-five percent of MIT undergraduates receive some form of financial aid.

The tuition figures do not include an estimated 3.3 percent increase in the costs of books and supplies to $1,050 and a similar increase in the costs of personal expenses to $1,950. The total student expense budget will rise from $36,100 this year to $37,460 next year.