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Tuition, Aid Both Increase

By Tiffany Kosolcharoen

ASSOCIATE FEATURES EDITOR

Tuition will increase by 4.05 percent for the 2004-2005 academic year, passing the $30,000 mark and bringing the yearly cost of an MIT education to $42,230, according to a press release from the MIT News Office. Additionally, MIT will increase the amount of undergraduate financial aid.

Yearly tuition and fees will increase from $29,600 to $30,800, and the annual cost of room, board, and personal expenses is estimated by MIT Student Financial Services to be $11,430.

The expected student contribution will remain unchanged at $5,500.

MIT adds new financial aid funds

President Charles M. Vest announced an additional $5 million in financial aid, which will bring scholarship and grant assistance for undergraduates to nearly $64 million, according to the press release.

More students will receive aid from MIT as a result of the $5 million increase, said Dean for Student Life Larry G. Benedict.

“This is crucial at MIT, where approximately 12 percent of undergraduates come from the bottom income quartile,” said Vest in the press release.

Dean for Undergraduate Education Robert P. Redwine said, “MIT’s undergraduate scholarship budget has risen 64 percent in the past five years, compared to a 13 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index” in the same press release.

According to the press release, MIT undergraduates who qualify for financial aid will receive a financial aid package from MIT that averages $23,000. Last year, the average financial aid package for aid-eligible students was $19,600.

Additional fees factored into aid

In recent years, MIT has added new fees to the overall cost, including the student life fee of $200 per student and mandatory dining plans in some dormitories.

The dining plans, already required for all residents at Simmons Hall and all residents in the Class of 2007 and beyond at Next House and Baker House, will go into effect at McCormick for freshmen next year. The plans require that students pay $200 per semester in return for a 50 percent discount on food purchased at the dormitory’s dining hall.

Harvard also boosts financial aid

MIT’s increase in financial aid funding comes on the heels of a recent announcement by Harvard University guaranteeing that parents who make less than $40,000 a year will not need to pay for their children’s tuition. Families in the income range of $40,000 to $60,000 will see their contribution requirement decrease. Currently, parents who earn less than $40,000 are expected to pay $2,300.

As a prelude to the policy change, Harvard “held focus groups at Harvard with students with family incomes under $50,000,” said Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers at the 86th Annual Meeting of the American Council on Education. “We learned that these students often work to make up the parental contribution because they do not want to subject their parents to additional financial stress,” he said.

While Harvard’s new initiative is only a $2 million increase to the school’s financial aid budget, the total budget for the school is almost $80 million, 20 percent larger than MIT’s.