MIT Reports to the President 1997-98



In 1997-98 student enrollment was 9,880, compared with 9,947 in 1996-97. There were 4,381 undergraduates (4,429 the previous year) and 5,499 graduate students (5,518 the previous year). The international student population was 2,176, representing eight percent of the undergraduate and 33 percent of the graduate populations. These students were citizens of 108 countries. (Students with permanent residence status are included with US citizens.)

In 1997-98, there were 3,101 women students (1,747 undergraduate and 1,354 graduate) at the Institute, compared with 3,085 (1,749 undergraduate and 1,336 graduate) in 1996-97. In September 1997, 406 first-year women entered MIT, representing 38 percent of the freshman class of 1,066 students.

In 1997-98, there were, as reported by the students themselves, 2,691 minority students (1,997 undergraduate and 694 graduate) at the Institute, compared with 2,753 (1,997 undergraduate and 756 graduate) in 1996-97. Minority students included 401 African Americans (non-Hispanic), 63 Native Americans, 555 Hispanic Americans, and 1,672 Asian Americans. The first-year class entering in September 1997 included 509 minority students, representing 48 percent of the class.


Degrees awarded by the Institute in 1997-98 included 1,184 bachelor's degrees, 1,492 master's degrees, 16 engineer's degrees, and 521 doctoral degrees, for a total of 3,213 (compared with 3,109 in 1996-97).


During the academic year 1997-98 the continuing healthy economy and a reduction in the number of needy students reduced the need for grant funds. At the same time, endowment income for scholarships increased by 10 percent. A total of 2,505 students who demonstrated need for assistance (58 percent of enrollment) received $34,372,000 in grant aid and $15,072,000 in student loans from all sources. The total, $49,444,000, represents a decrease of approximately one percent from the amount spent the previous year.

Grant assistance to undergraduates was provided by $14,063,000 in income from the scholarship endowment, by $894,000 in current gifts, by $3,665,000 in federal grants (including ROTC scholarships), and by $2,995,000 in direct grants from non-federal outside sources to needy students. In addition, $12,755,000 in scholarships from MIT's unrestricted funds were provided to undergraduates, inclusive of the special program of scholarship aid to needy minority group students that represented $386,000 and the MIT Opportunity Awards that accounted for $391,000. An additional 425 students received grants irrespective of need from outside agencies, totaling $2,383,000. The undergraduate scholarship endowment was increased by the addition of $13,055,000 in new funds. These new contributions increased the endowment for scholarships to $143,666,000.

Loans totaling $15,072,000 were made to undergraduates, a decrease of 5 percent from the previous year. Of the total loans made, $1,922,000 came from the Technology Loan Fund, $4,009,000 came from the Federal Perkins Loan Program, and $9,020,000 came from the federal Direct Loan Program. An additional $121,000 was provided to undergraduates from other outside sources.

Graduate students obtained $4,986,000 from the Technology Loan Fund, an increase of 8 percent from the previous year's level. Graduate students obtained $8,739,000 from the Federal Stafford Program, $4,000 from Perkins Loan funds. The total, $13,729,000, represents a decrease of 3 percent from the previous year.

The total of loans made to undergraduate and graduate students was $28,801,000, a decrease of 4 percent from the previous year.

The number of needy undergraduate students decreased by 4 percent to 2,505. The average need for this population increased by 2 percent to $21,103. In the aggregate, the financial aid program required $28,069,000 from needy students' family resources and provided $52,862,000 in aid dollars including work programs. As in past years, the aid program provided more than two-thirds of needy students' total costs.


In 1997-98, the market for new MIT graduates soared in every area of industry, and a record-breaking number of employers visited campus. The number of individual employers (not including individual divisions of larger corporations) who came to interview was 740, compared to 715 the previous year. As the year came to a close, interview schedules for 1998-99 suggested that the upward trend would continue in the year ahead.

Software skills continued to be the most sought-after single area of student expertise, with particular emphasis on new multimedia and Internet technologies. Employers have learned that students from a wide variety of MIT courses have substantial experience with information technology. The telecommunications, pharmaceutical, finance, and semiconductor industries have contributed noticeably to this demand. Starting salaries have increased, as have the percentage and range of firms offering signing bonuses. Salaries for doctoral graduates in engineering range on the average from $65,000 to $80,000. Salary offers to master's candidates range from $50,000 to $60,000, and to bachelor's candidates from $45,000 to $48,000.

Applications to medical school have continued at a strong pace. 110 under-graduates applied to medical school, of whom 76 percent were admitted; 11 graduate students applied to medical school, of whom 36 percent were admitted. 77 MIT alumni/ae applied to medical school, of whom 49 percent were admitted. Altogether, 198 undergraduates, graduate students, and alumni/ae applied to medical school. Including re-applicants, their acceptance rates were 66 percent for the 98 men, and 60 percent for the 100 women.


Private financial support received in Fiscal Year l998 totaled $143,900,000, including $137,100,000 in gifts, grants, and bequests, and $6,800,000 in support through membership in the Industrial Liaison Program. The total compares with $133,600,000 in 1997, $130,900,000 in 1996, $108,900,000 in 1995, and $94,500,000 in l994. Gifts-in-kind for the past year (principally gifts of equipment) were valued at $8,300,000.

The sources of gifts for Fiscal Year l998 included alumni, $42,000,000; non-alumni friends, $38,000,000; corporations, corporate foundations, and trade associations, $30,000,000; foundations and charitable trusts, $25,900,000; and others, $1,200,000.


As reported by the Vice President for Finance and Treasurer, the overall financial results of the Institute's operations were favorable during Fiscal Year 1998. Revenues and funds of $1,219,300,000 were used for operations. Total operating expenses in Fiscal Year 1998 were $1,223,500,000. The operating results produced an additional need for general funds of $4,200,000, a decline from the $4,900,000 needed in the prior year. In addition, net assets increased $781,800,000, reaching almost $4,700,000,000 at year end. The MIT endowment reached a market value of $3,700,000,000, up 21.9 percent, and benefited from very favorable investment returns and a record level of gifts.

The research revenues of departmental and interdepartmental laboratories, primarily on campus, totaled $384,200,000 in Fiscal Year 1998, a small decrease of 0.9 percent from the prior year. Industry continued to be the leading sponsor of MIT research on campus, at $74,200,000. Lincoln Laboratory reported revenues of $364,800,000, an increase of 3.5 percent.


During the year, progress on changes in administrative processes continued. The Copy Technology Centers successfully completed their first full year of operation as an independent department, as did the Publishing Services Bureau. Within Physical Plant, the Repair and Maintenance group successfully completed their first year following redesign into five local zones and twelve central teams. As a result of the redesign and cost-saving efforts implemented by the Mail Services group, the Institute saved over $850,000. Based on the success of the previous year's pilot program, the Visa Procurement Card (VIP Card) was introduced to the community and is available for Institute personnel to make small dollar purchases.

In addition to these process changes, the campus is poised on the verge of major building projects. The new complex for the computer, information, and intelligence sciences, which will house five laboratories and departments, will be built on the site of Building 20. During the year, internationally recognized architect Frank Gehry was selected to design the new complex of buildings, to be named the Ray and Maria Stata Center, in recognition of their extraordinary generosity in supporting this project.

A number of other construction and renovation projects moved forward in 1997-98. The Student Services Center on the first floor of Building 11 opened; ten all-purpose classrooms in Building 2 were completely renovated; Room 9-150 was transformed from a traditional lecture hall into a state-of-the-art distance learning facility; and the extensive renovation of Building 16 was completed. In addition, the newly renovated Music Library in Building 14E received the "Building of the Year" award in the category of Spatial Planning and Interior Furnishings at the Facilities Management Expo.

Due to the increased demand the Institute faces for housing on and near campus, the Planning Office engaged in preparations for new undergraduate and graduate residences.

Ensuring that Institute policies and procedures remain in compliance with city, state, and Federal regulations continued to be a priority during the year. Staff from the Safety Office coordinated preparations for a site inspection of the campus by the Environmental Protection Agency, and worked with the inspection teams during their visits.

MIT Reports to the President 1997-98