Financial Aid News - 2014

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  • 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...