Some middle-class families may qualify for free tuition scholarships or grants to attend Rice University under a brand-new financial aid plan. The new initiative, called The Rice Investment, will provide full-tuition scholarships to families with incomes up to $130,000 and tuition cuts for families with incomes up to $200,000.
Rice University's full, free college scholarships are earmarked for families who earn an income between $65,000 and $130,000. Rice University is also "dramatically expanding” its financial aid, providing partial undergraduate scholarships to students whose families' income surpasses the maximum $130,000. Families with income between $130,000 and $200,000 may qualify for free scholarships covering at least half of their tuition. Students "will no longer be required to take out loans as part of their need-based financial aid packages" under The Rice Investment.
The majority of financial aid is based on the FAFSA, which is used to determine the Expected Family Contribution (EFC); the latter being what the government estimates families are able to afford to pay for their children's college education. The complex formula - which considers income, assets and more - does not necessarily account for family expenses, retirement savings, or paying for multiple children's college education; thus often overestimating parents' ability to pay for college. Such is the dilemma for families who are considered "too rich for financial aid" but too poor for college.