Schmill to head Student Financial Services

Stu Schmill ’86, currently Dean of Admissions, will serve as the new Dean of Student Financial Services. He will continue to oversee the admissions office as well, in his new position as Dean of Admissions and Student Financial Services.

Schmill’s heading both Admissions and Student Financial Services “will allow for even greater collaboration between the two offices” and to “even better service to our students and their families,” Dennis Freeman PhD ’86, Dean for Undergraduate Education, said in an email announcing Schmill’s appointment.

“MIT is one of only five American colleges and universities that currently practice need-blind admissions for all undergraduate students, award all financial aid based on need, and meet the full demonstrated financial need of all admitted students,” Freeman claimed in the email.  

In the March faculty meeting, Provost Martin Schmidt PhD ’88 spoke about tuition and financial aid increases for the coming 2016-2017 school year.

In 2016-2017, a 3.75 percent increase in tuition will be accompanied by a 10.4 percent increase in financial aid. For families with incomes over $150,000 per year, home equity will no longer be considered part of their capacity to pay for MIT. For all families, the expected parental contribution will be reduced by $2,000.

Schmidt said that there are several factors to determining financial aid for a given year.

MIT tries to remain competitive with peer institutions when it comes to financial aid, particularly with respect to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford (HYPS). Schmidt pointed out that for the 2015-2016 school year, MIT’s tuition of $46,704 fell between the highest and lowest tuitions in the HYPS group (Yale at $47,600 and Princeton at $43,520).”

MIT also tries to maintain a uniform admissions yield across income brackets, and surveys admitted and enrolled students to find out how satisfied students are with their financial aid.

Schmidt also mentioned that undergraduate and graduate tuition are linked at MIT “so when adjusting undergraduate tuition, it is also necessary to examine how changes that extend to graduate tuition affect competitiveness.”

In 2014-2015, MIT’s undergraduates received a total of $129.7 million in financial aid (including both need- and merit-based aid from all sources). Of this figure, $92.1 million came from MIT scholarships, all of which are need-based. Approximately 56 percent of undergraduates received an MIT scholarship, with an average amount of $36,566, equivalent to 82 percent of tuition that year. MIT ensures that students with a family income under $75,000 will attend MIT tuition-free.

Of seniors graduating in 2015, 33 percent attended MIT tuition-free and 32 percent graduated with student loan debt that averaged $18,859, according to the faculty meeting minutes. Schmidt estimates that one third of undergraduates will attend MIT tuition free with the 10.4 percent increase in financial aid. The average financial aid award is estimated to be over $44,000.

“MIT believes that these changes address some of the lower- and middle-income family concerns — in particular as they relate to competitiveness with HYPS — and that these adjustments to financial aid are aligned with the BSU and BGSA recommendations received in December 2015,” said Schmidt.