Tuition and fees to increase to $51,832 for the upcoming academic year

The undergraduate financial aid budget to increase 9.6 percent

Tuition and fees for the 2018-19 academic year will increase 3.9 percent from $49,892 to $51,832, while the undergraduate financial aid budget will increase 9.6 percent from $118.5 million to $129.9 million, Provost Martin Schmidt announced at the Feb. 21 faculty meeting.

Last year’s 3 percent increase in tuition and fees was the smallest increase since 1970, according to an MIT News article. However, this year’s greater tuition increase is attributed in part to the significantly higher increase in financial aid budget compared to last year’s 3.8 percent.

“The financial aid package is applied so that the yield is constant,” Schmidt said in an interview with The Tech last Wednesday. MIT is also one of only five American colleges and universities that admit all undergraduate students regardless of their financial circumstances, award all financial aid based on need, and meet the full financial need of all admitted students, according to Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart in an interview with The Tech.

The Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid — comprised of 15 administrators, students, and professors, including Dean of Admissions and Student Financial Services Stuart Schmill ’86 — analyzes a number of factors, including the demographics of admitted classes by income group, and presents the senior administration with recommendations for financial aid, according to Schmidt. Ultimately, the executive committee of the MIT Corporation approves the senior administration’s recommendations for financial aid and tuition as part of the Institute’s overall annual budget process.

MIT takes into account the tuition and financial aid of several peer institutions — Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford — in order to remain competitive. Schmidt stated that statistics have shown if a student has the choice between MIT and another school not among those four, the student will likely attend MIT. “However, if it’s between MIT and one of HYPS, the numbers start dropping,” Schmidt said.

Of the five schools, MIT has the lowest endowment per undergraduate at $1.206 million, according to a 2017 New York Times article. The other schools have at least $200,000 more per student, with Princeton being the highest at $2.662 million per student.

According to Barnhart and Schmidt, the additional tuition will help fund a variety of causes: building and dorm renovations, faculty and administrative salaries, and offices and projects that improve on the student experience, such as Student Support Services and MindHandHeart.