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MIT has announced a 5.8 percent increase in tuition-the second lowest in 24 years-for the 1994-95 academic year. This will raise tuition to $20,100, an increase of $1,100 from $19,000 this year.
In addition, there will be an average three percent increase for housing and dining, putting the overall cost for tuition, room and board at $26,075. This is an increase of 5.1 percent, or $1,275, over this year's figure of $24,800.
The increases, approved by the MIT trustees on March 3, were announced by President Charles M. Vest. He noted that tuition historically covers about half the cost of a student's education, with the remainder met by earnings from endowment and by unrestricted gifts and grants.
In October, after MIT experienced a $10 million deficit for the 1993 fiscal year, Dr. Vest announced a plan to cope with a growing gap between income and expenses that includes a $25 million net cut in operations over the next four years and a work force reduction of about 400.
In dealing with the financial challenges faced by MIT and universities throughout the nation, Dr. Vest said it was important that tuition at MIT, while reflecting the realities of the nation's economy, "should increase only modestly." He noted that tuition was one of three primary sources of revenue, the others being federal and industrial research funds and private support, including gifts and investment income.
While tuition continues to grow somewhat, he said, MIT has begun to slow its rate of growth. By doing this, and making financial aid available, MIT will remain accessible to bright students regardless of their family's income, he said.
Dr. Vest stressed that MIT will continue to meet the full demonstrated financial need of all undergraduates. This year about 59 percent of MIT's 4,509 undergraduates receive financial aid through a combination of scholarships, loans and term-time jobs. The average aid for a needy student this year-to help pay the $24,800 cost of tuition, room and board-is $18,850 (just $150 beneath the cost of tuition), for a total of about $50.9 million. Of that sum, scholarship grants from MIT are $27.3 million, of a total of $33.5 million in grants from all sources. Loans and term-time work account for $17.4 million.
The university's nominal self-help level-the amount students are expected to provide from loans and term-time work before receiving scholarship assistance-will be raised $550 to $7,650, a 7.7 percent increase. MIT reduces the self-help requirements for students from families of very low income by as much as $3,500.
Because students from wealthier families who fail to qualify for financial aid still receive scholarships from outside the financial aid system, it is estimated that only about 29 percent of students and/or their parents pay the full amount.
A version of this article appeared in the March 9, 1994 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 38, Number 25).