Rensselaer will add more than $10 million in new financial aid resources for undergraduate students during the coming year.
The action responds to the need to ensure that Rensselaer remains accessible to academically talented students from the full range of family financial circumstances.
“As a top-tier technological research university preparing the global leaders of tomorrow, it is important that we take aggressive actions to ensure that we make the university’s resources available to students of all backgrounds,” President Shirley Ann Jackson said. “We have a special responsibility to students whose ability to participate in the life of the Institute depends on a robust approach to financial aid.”
The new resources come in the forms of:
- a major addition to the general financial aid budget,
- special assistance to students pursuing a new co-terminal bachelor’s/master’s degree program,
- significant increases in financial aid funds from endowment and philanthropic sources, new funding for summer program aid,
- increases in work-study wage rates.
“Approximately 88 percent of Rensselaer’s undergraduates receive some form of financial aid,” said James Nondorf, vice president for enrollment. “That figure far exceeds those found at most of our peer institutions, and it underscores our commitment to making Rensselaer accessible to a wide range of academically outstanding students.”
The university will add about $6 million to its general financial aid pool, bringing the total of the Institute’s resources devoted to financial aid to about $80 million. Those financial aid funds are distributed to undergraduate students on the basis of demonstrated family financial need and merit considerations.
A new co-terminal degree program will allow Rensselaer undergraduates to study for a master’s degree while completing a bachelor’s degree in the same or a different department or school. Financial aid resources for qualified students will be extended for the additional year necessary to complete the master’s degree, with a total impact on the financial aid budget of an additional $3 million.
In addition to the co-terminal program, Rensselaer will also expand the Presidential Scholars program, providing full admission through to the Ph.D. and increasing the aid budget for that program by $1.5 million.
Contributions to Rensselaer’s financial aid budget from endowment income and philanthropic sources will be increased by more than $1 million this year. Returns on the endowment this year enable the university to add some $500,000 in new financial aid funding,
and an anonymous donor contributed an additional $500,000 for aid to qualified women and minority
Rensselaer’s summer Student Tuition Assistance program provides additional financial aid totaling $70,000. This program offers extra aid to full-time undergraduate students who qualify for need-based financial aid, beyond the standard eight semesters allowed for financial aid during the regular academic year.
For students receiving aid through the Work Study Program, the minimum wage will rise by 30 percent to an average of $9.25 per hour, with students working on research projects receiving $10 per hour.
Other actions planned for next year to enhance financial aid include a quadrupling of the emergency fund available to families with special circumstances to $2 million, and a 20 percent increase in financial aid funding through the Patroon Scholars program.