- MIT is the latest elite school to scale back its "no loans" aid plan for the lowest income students, shifting to a policy of having the same "self help" portion of aid packages (the portion that students must provide through work, loans and other sources) for students of all income levels.
- According to Elizabeth Hicks, executive director of student financial services at MIT, when the school went "no loans," it really just set a self-help level of $2,850 for students whose families had incomes under $75,000, while everyone else had a self-help level of $6,000--but now the self-help level for both groups is one and the same.
- The policy shift comes not just as a result of concerns over the student aid budget rising faster than the rest of the budget, but over the old policy's "cliff effects," where people earning just over $75,000 had much higher self-help expectations than those making marginally less.
From the article:
In 2008, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was among the elite colleges and universities announcing that it was eliminating the need for low-income students to take out student loans. Now, a little more quietly, MIT has become the latest elite institution to scale back its aid plan. And MIT's changes may well make many of even its lowest-income students borrow (albeit modestly). MIT's approach to the issue has been slightly different from those of other colleges and universities -- some of which have scaled back their "no loans" pledges while still preserving them for the lowest-income students. ...