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Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Dartmouth will eliminate tuition for undergraduates from families with incomes below $75,000; replace loans with scholarships; extend need-blind admissions to international students; and create a leave term without earnings expectations
Dartmouth President James Wright announced today a number of enhancements to the College's financial aid packages for undergraduates, beginning in academic year 2008-09, to ensure that Dartmouth remains accessible to academically talented students regardless of their financial situation. The new initiatives also extend the College's need-blind admissions program to all international students, who typically represent about 7 percent of each incoming class. The Dartmouth Board of Trustees approved the enhanced program at a special board meeting Jan. 16.
Key elements of the initiative, which will go into effect for the coming academic year, include:
1. Free tuition for students who come from families with annual incomes below $75,000
In announcing the initiative, President Wright said, "Dartmouth's enhanced financial aid program will ensure that all our students are better able to take full advantage of the Dartmouth experience. The College has long been committed to helping superbly qualified students attend Dartmouth, regardless of their financial means, and financial aid has been a personal priority of mine for many years. Building on our more than three-fold increase in financial aid since 1998, I am pleased that we could make this further enhancement to our financial aid program as we seek to keep Dartmouth affordable and to enroll the most talented students from around the world." President Wright is a member of the College Board Commission on Access, Admissions and Success in Higher Education and has worked to enhance the GI Bill to improve educational opportunities for veterans.
According to U.S. Census data, approximately 90 percent of U.S. households earn less than $150,000; 70 percent earn less than $75,000; and the median family income is $46,326. These families have the most financial difficulty sending their children to college. Dartmouth's new financial aid program will enable it to continue to enroll one of the most economically diverse group of students in the Ivy League. Currently, 13 percent of Dartmouth students are the first in their families to attend college and 14 percent are recipients of Pell Grants (a federal grant for students who come from low-income families).
Dartmouth is presently need-blind in its undergraduate admissions process for applicants who are citizens or permanent residents of the U.S., Canada and Mexico, which means that it reviews student admissions applications without any knowledge of the prospective student's ability to pay for a Dartmouth education. Once Dartmouth admits an applicant, the College meets 100 percent of the student's demonstrated need for all four years through a combination of grants and loans.
Dartmouth currently spends $61 million per year providing financial aid compared to $24.5 million in 1998 - an increase of 250 percent. The new initiative will cost an additional $10 million per year when fully implemented. The additional expense will be paid for through the reallocation of resources and the use of funds generated by an increase in the distribution from the endowment to 6 percent approved by the Trustees last year. The College is in the midst of the Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience with a goal of $1.3 billion - $150 million of which will be for financial aid. This past December, the College passed the $1 billion mark in that campaign.
Details of the Initiative
No Tuition for Families Who Earn less than $75,000
Loans Replaced with Scholarships
Need-blind admissions for International Students
Leave Term Earnings Expectation
Dartmouth's 4,300 undergraduates are an academically accomplished and diverse group, representing all 50 states and more than 30 countries around the world. Students of color and international students comprise 30 percent and 7 percent, respectively, of the student body. Nearly 48 percent of undergraduates today receive need-based financial aid from Dartmouth, with an average scholarship of $30,400 for members of the Class of 2011.
Dartmouth is recognized for its excellence in undergraduate education. In keeping with its founding mission, the intellectual quality and the diversity of the students the College admits are of paramount importance as Dartmouth seeks to create an enriching and varied educational experience for all members of the community. It is an historic assumption at Dartmouth that student engagement with a diverse group of peers, drawn from a broad range of racial and ethnic backgrounds, nationalities, socioeconomic circumstances, talents, experiences, and perspectives, contributes significantly to the transformative nature of a Dartmouth education.
Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.