Rice University is making a college education more affordable to students from low-income and middle-income families. Under a new financial plan called The Rice Investment, full tuition and scholarships and grants will be offered to these students.
Full tuition scholarships will be awarded to degree-seeking undergraduates with family incomes between $65,000 and $130,000 and who are eligible to receive financial aid based on need.
Students with family incomes between $130,000 and $200,000 also can receive scholarships covering at least half of their tuition. Students with family incomes below $65,000 can receive grants to cover their full tuition, mandatory fees and room and board.
“Talent deserves opportunity,” Rice President David Leebron said. “We’ve built on our already generous financial aid to provide more support to lower-income and middle-class families and ensure that these students have access to the best in private higher education.”
The free tuition and scholarship grant program starts in the Fall of 2019. Rice University says The Rice Investment will reduce the burden of student debt and not require students to take out loans for their Rice education. College loans will be replaced by scholarships and grants. However, students will be expected to pay toward the cost of their Rice education by working summer and other jobs.
“The Rice Investment will give more students from middle-income families an extraordinary opportunity at an extraordinary university,” said Bobby Tudor, the chairman of the university’s board.
The new plan affects all degree-seeking undergraduates – including continuing students.
The average price of attending a private research university is just under $60,000, according to College Board data. The median income in the U.S. for families with college-age students was $90,120, according to 2016 U.S. Census data.
“This bold step reflects our founding principles,” Leebron said. “When Rice opened its doors in 1912, we didn’t charge tuition. Rice changed its charter in 1965 to begin charging tuition, but immediately began offering scholarships to eligible students. This significantly builds on that legacy and on our commitment to make a Rice education accessible and affordable for students from all backgrounds.”
Rice is often ranked as one of the nation’s best values among private schools because of its generous student aid programs. Rice’s annual tuition, currently at $46,600, is thousands of dollars lower than other private research universities.
“The Rice Investment is just that – an investment in the limitless promise of all students who demonstrate talent, initiative and drive regardless of their background or their ability to pay for college,” Leebron said. “We are determined to continue to reflect our roots and make our education affordable for all admitted students, whatever their financial background.”
The university has a $150 million fundraising campaign to support the program.
For more information on Rice, visit www.rice.edu