Financial Aid News - 2012

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  • Each spring, thousands of undergraduate and graduate students apply for financial aid at MIT. Student Financial Services (SFS) recently introduced the MIT Online Financial Aid System, which provides enhanced visibility and tracking of application requirements and eliminates paper-based award letters. The new system makes it easier for students to both apply for aid and monitor the status of their application.

    Screen shote of online financial aid system

  • A longstanding partnership between Student Financial Services (SFS) and MIT’s Resource Development Office is at the core of SFS’s mission to help students and their families understand, choose and obtain the resources to finance an MIT education. With the generous support of thousands of MIT alums and friends over the past 150 years, it is possible for SFS to award what is expected to be almost $95M in need-based MIT Scholarship for the current year.

    Good stewardship of more than 1,100 individual scholarship funds at MIT requires good management and accountability – ensuring that we can tell the donor or a family member exactly how his or her money was used and how it fits into the overall mission of the Institute. Collaborative stewardship by SFS and Resource Development assures donors that their funds are properly used and well administered. Good fiscal management, coupled with the right mix of donor relations, keeps donors happy, and happy donors (we know for a fact) are more likely to give again and to recommend giving to their friends and classmates.

    Scholarship donors James and Janë Draper meet 2012 Cunningham Scholar Lyne Tchapmi Petse '14

    Communication is central to successful stewardship.MIT’s Financial Aid Office pioneered the concept of communicating to donors both the need for undergraduate scholarship aid and gratitude for their generous support.

  • The news is everywhere. For the first time ever, Americans now owe more on student loans than on credit cards. Students are borrowing twice what they did a decade ago after adjusting for inflation, the College Board reports. Total outstanding debt has doubled in the past five years — a sharp contrast to consumers reducing what's owed on home loans and credit cards.

    Just how bad is it? Americans now owe more than one trillion dollars and higher education students are borrowing more than one billion a year. Much of the increase is attributed to tuition hikes at the nation's universities, but university leaders blame the increases on a decade of cuts in state aid to public universities.

    The average student debt load nationwide tops $25,000, while the job market for recent graduates continues to struggle. Graduate after graduate tells stories of owing so much money on student loans that they're spending half of their monthly salary on the payments, which means in many cases they can't afford rent on a place to live by themselves. Hundreds of American students have protested their financial plight. Demanding a right to “debt-free degrees”, they are burning their loan documents because they believe the government should forgive all student debt, just as it bailed out big banks.