Ot – the rice investment washington university engineering

I write today with important news regarding a core commitment of our university. Many rice alumni and friends are familiar with the words “no upper limit.” this phrase, taken from founding president edgar odell lovett’s speech at our opening, has guided our educational endeavor for more than a century. In the very next sentence following this proclamation, lovett stated that rice will be open to young men and women “without tuition.” the juxtaposition of these two ideas — no upper limit and no tuition — illuminates one of our deepest values: talent deserves opportunity. Although rice began charging tuition in 1965, we have through generous financial aid always remained true to our commitment that a rice education be affordable for every admitted student. Yet, we know that even with high financial aid, this has become increasingly challenging for a wide swath of american families.

We heard from many alumni during our recent strategic planning process regarding their concern about middle class affordability, and our goal to address this issue was strongly reflected in our final strategic plan, the V2C2.

This morning, rice formally announced a new financial aid initiative, “the rice investment,” that reinforces the university’s commitment to this historic ideal. American college surgeons beginning in fall 2019, the rice investment will provide financial aid that covers rice tuition for low- and middle-income students and their families.

In sum, rice families earning less than $130,000 will not be asked to shoulder the burden of tuition, and families earning over that amount but less than $200,000 will not have to fund more than half of tuition charges. In some cases, students will receive grants greater than these amounts.

The rice investment will also reduce the burden of student debt. Beginning in the next academic year, degree-seeking undergraduate students from families with incomes up to $200,000 who qualify for the rice investment will no longer be required to take out loans as part of their need-based financial aid packages. Instead, loans will be replaced by scholarships and grants. American univerity students will still be expected to contribute toward the cost of attendance through moderate earnings from summer and academic year jobs.

The plan, which takes effect with the 2019-20 academic year, will impact domestic degree-seeking undergraduates — including continuing students — who apply for and are eligible for aid based on need. Some families may qualify for even more aid depending on their circumstances. Families with atypically large assets or certain unusual circumstances may not qualify for this need-based aid.

We choose to make this investment at a remarkable time for our university. We had a record number of applications (nearly 21,000 including over 15,000 from outside texas) for this year’s entering class. Greater selectivity and a significant increase in yield produced a truly extraordinary class. Our entering group of graduate students included more winners of distinguished awards and fellowships than ever before. A completely renovated space science building, home to the next generation of nanoscience research at rice, is now open. The new rice university music and performing arts center is already rising on our campus, and just last week we broke ground for our new patricia and jonathan kraft hall for social sciences. We have invested in science and engineering facilities and equipment at an unprecedented pace, including a complete renovation of our teaching laboratories. University of usa we are building faculty in areas like neuroengineering, physical and synthetic biology, computer science, mathematics, philosophy, economics and biosciences. Earlier this year, we announced that rice would partner with others to use its midtown property, part of the endowment’s holdings, formerly occupied by sears to create an exciting innovation district. New programs such as the texas policy lab, the liu idea lab for innovation and entrepreneurship, the data to knowledge (D2K) laboratory, and the doerr institute for new leaders are pushing the frontiers of a rice education. Our first online degree program, MBA@rice, was launched successfully this past summer, and we expect more to follow. Washington university seattle and our school of architecture rose to rankings of no. 2 for undergraduate and no. 7 for graduate education by design intelligence.

The rice investment has been enthusiastically endorsed and supported by the rice board of trustees. We believe this effort to enhance our financial aid takes a bold step into the future by building on our founding values. The combination of extraordinary academics and affordability positions rice as a leader among the nation’s most competitive universities in attracting and supporting a talented and diverse student body. It seeks to address the very real challenges faced by families at a time when taking on too much debt is a growing problem both during and after college.

Rice alumni and friends have been among the most impassioned supporters of making a rice education more affordable for lower and middle income students and families. This is an ambitious undertaking, and the support of our community will be essential to maintain our momentum. Already, our generous supporters have contributed nearly a third of the $150 million in endowed funding required to sustain this commitment. As we advance toward this goal, our focus on affordability comes at a time when we must demonstrate the value of higher education as never before and ensure that talented students, regardless of their economic circumstances, have every opportunity to positively impact the world.