Financial Aid News - All Years

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  • Jocelyn Heywood, assistant director of education loan collection in Student Financial Services (SFS), has been on the front lines of recent efforts to extend the Perkins Loan Program, the nation’s oldest student loan program. This winter, Heywood has been busy advocating for a bipartisan bill, called the Perkins Loan Extension Act, that would extend the program for two years. The additional time will ensure students have continued access to the program until Congress determines the future of all Title IV programs during consideration of the Higher Education Act.

  • Tuition and fees increase of 3 percent is the smallest percentage rise since 1970.

    MIT will increase its financial aid budget for the 2017-18 academic year, benefiting a broad range of students and families and offsetting a 3 percent increase in tuition and fees — the smallest percentage increase since 1970.

    The tuition and financial aid figures were announced at today’s MIT faculty meeting.

  • Interim executive director since September 2015, Schmill will now lead both admissions and student financial services at MIT.

  • On Friday, March 13, Student Financial Services released the new SFS website. The old website has been retired and all links to the former URL will now redirect users to the new homepage.Student Financial Services new website

    To create the new site, the SFS web team worked with DCAD and Moth Design to develop an extensive project plan with several key components: researching the needs of our students through a discovery phase, building the information architecture (the “bones” of the site) using our research, and finally designing and developing a site that met all of our stated goals.

    To understand our current audience and to improve upon the quality of our content structure, we surveyed our users via focus groups and one-on-one interviews with undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, parents, and staff. In our research we discovered that students and our users wanted:

    • More clarity and transparency in understanding how financial aid works
    • Easy-to-find dates and deadlines
    • Resources dedicated to parents
    • Automated forms and processes

    Next, we created our information architecture and sitemap to address the issues users identified, along with others we found through our daily interactions with students...

  • Undergraduate financial aid budget to grow 8.8 percent; tuition and fees will rise 3.75 percent.

    MIT undergraduate financial aid 2015-16Underscoring its commitment to preserving broad access to MIT, the Institute will allocate $103.4 million next year to ensure affordability for its 4,500 undergraduate students — the first time MIT’s annual financial aid budget will exceed $100 million.

  • Access and affordability are two concepts that have become inseparable. Google them as a single term and there is no end to the mention of access and affordability in housing, food, energy, health care, and higher education. Access: the ability to reach, approach, or enter. Affordability: the ability to purchase. Together, they form the A2 problem.

    Within higher education, access and affordability refer to removing the financial barriers to achieving one’s educational aspirations, with access most often associated with students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and affordability with middle-class students. Together access and affordability are a weighty term that becomes a lightning rod for the ever-growing public concern that undergraduate higher education in the U.S. is out of reach for ordinary citizens.

    MIT graduateAccess and affordability are as much about perception as reality, if not more so. Often, changing the belief that something is not possible is the major obstacle to overcome. So to put this all in perspective, our core question becomes, “Is MIT affordable for all families?” The simple answer is yes, but proving that is more complicated...

  • In August, President Obama released a plan to develop a new rating system for colleges and universities that will allow students and their families the ability to make informed decisions based on value and outcomes. The proposed plan would eventually connect this rating system to federal financial aid. While the rating system has not been developed at this point, the proposed metrics include access, affordability, and outcomes. With the unveiling of this proposed plan, the Department of Education scheduled four open forums around the country to allow public input and discussion.

    The open forum held at George Mason University on November 13 included several speakers from membership organizations, community colleges, universities, and recent college graduates throughout the Washington, DC, metro region.

    Many speakers voiced enthusiasm about the potential to access more detailed information about outcomes and affordability for specific demographics of students, including part-time and transfer students. However, some were concerned that current metrics only assess data for first-time, full-time students; as a result, the majority of the student body at schools working with non-traditional students would be excluded, providing unreliable and misleading outcome data.

  • The Admissions Office is testing out a new pilot outreach mailing to be sent to low-income prospective students. 

    Several admissions officers and members of the admissions communication team, along with Boston-based Moth Design, developed a small booklet based on the themes of affordability, culture and value at MIT. The booklet and a personalized notecard signed by a current MIT student will be sent out this fall to a small cohort of 314 prospective students.

  • President Obama recently announced a systematic move to rank colleges by value, with schools earning top honors for making student debt manageable, and for producing graduates who have “strong career potential.” Both ranking factors illustrate the government’s focus on making college a smart long-term investment for everyone.  Although many of the president’s suggestions are aimed at public universities, MIT is committed to ensuring that education beyond high school remains an accessible goal.

  • SFS logoAround this time of year the national news media encourages students and families to contact their financial aid offices and to try and negotiate or appeal their award to get more aid. We in Student Financial  Services (SFS) are not able to negotiate with families based on their assigned awards at other schools or on other criteria, but our financial aid counselors are always willing to have discussions with families who are concerned that they can’t afford MIT with the financial aid package they were offered.

    How it works…

    Each spring, SFS works to process financial aid awards for thousands of admitted students and our policy is to meet the full demonstrated financial need of all applicants.  To calculate their need, we must carefully look at each applicant and understand the challenges that they may face in affording an MIT education.