Rice University to offer free tuition for middle and low income students

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By Tiffany Sawruk, McNeil High School

Starting Fall 2019, Rice University will offer free tuition for students whose household incomes are between $65,000-$130,000. Rice will also cover other expenses such as boarding and meal plans for any student whose family makes less than $65,000 a year.

“This opens the door for many low to middle income families to allow the students to receive a top tier education,” lead counselor Julie Presley said. “Many of the students in this income bracket make the decision on where to go to school based on where they can afford.”

Rice is a private university in Houston and is one of the most prestigious universities in the nation, with an acceptance rate of 16 percent and more than 50 majors. Besides having a strong academic standing, Rice is also expensive. Without any financial aid, tuition is roughly $47,363 a year. Add on other expenses, which would come to about $16,919, and the yearly cost of attendance is $64,282.

“I’m excited that more students will have the opportunity for a top tier education,” counselor Christine Campbell said. “The financial burden of college can greatly influence the decision of where to apply and attend.”

According to Rice President David Leebron, the university wants to provide more opportunities for students who are exceptionally smart but aren’t able to afford the school’s hefty tuition.

“I think that by providing more financial aid, more eligible students will apply,” Campbell said. “Colleges are looking for students with exceptional academic ability and want to minimize the financial barrier as much as possible.”

This story was originally published on The Trailblazer on October 11, 2018.