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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 57.39
Liaison Tina Woolston
Submission Date Nov. 12, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Tufts University
PA-8: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 4.00 Patricia Reilly
Dir Fin Aid&Co-Mgr Stu Fin Svs
Student Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs in place to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:

A brief description of any policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students:

Tufts is committed to making sure that all qualified applicants can afford a Tufts education. All financial aid is awarded on the basis of financial need, as determined through the analysis of family resources. Financial aid packages are comprised of a combination of grants, loans, and work study. Tufts meets 100% of the full demonstrated need of all admitted students and awards more than $87 million in need-based financial aid to more than 40% of the undergraduate student body. (http://admissions.tufts.edu/tuition-and-aid/)

A brief description of any programs to equip the institution’s faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

The AS&E Office of Diversity Education and Development works with faculty and staff (as well as students) to augment the diverse community that exists at Tufts. The office is responsible for developing, implementing, and assessing a range of programs for faculty and staff and for collaborating with offices, departments, and programs in the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering and other parts of the University, as appropriate, to promote diversity.

The Office provides workshops and other educational sessions, is a resource for consultations, develops a variety of resource materials, and helps to plan some diversity-related events on campus. Examples include workshops on topics such as Teaching Diverse Student Populations, Invisible Differences, and Diversifying Curriculum Content; the Inclusive Classroom Project, which provides small grants for faculty who want to work on their curriculum and/or pedagogy to increase the inclusivity of diversity at Tufts; consultations to departments and programs on issues related to diversity, such as how to carry out an assessment of the state of diversity in a department; and consultations to individual faculty on how to create inclusive and nonbiased environments for their teaching and advising.

The Center for STEM also helps faculty and staff accomplish their diversity-related goals and coordinates a group of administrators and faculty who run various STEM diversity programs.

A brief description of any programs to prepare students from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

Bridge to Engineering Success at Tufts (BEST) is a 6-week summer bridge program for underrepresented first-year engineering students. Nominated students have an opportunity to take 2 Tufts courses for credit and participate in academic and college life workshops, helping them transition from high school to college. http://engineering.tufts.edu/best/

The Bridge to Liberal Arts Success at Tufts (BLAST) program seeks to support, develop, and retain students who may be first in their family to attend a four-year college and/or have attended under-resourced high school and/or have been affiliated with a college access agency. BLAST is a residential six-week program in the summer prior to the first year at Tufts with program commitments during each of the following academic years. This program prepares students for a rigorous college curriculum and orientation to Tufts culture and resources to provide for a successful transition. http://as.tufts.edu/BLAST/

The Center for STEM Diversity also works with students from lower-income backgrounds to promote participation in engineering and science. http://stemdiversity.tufts.edu/about

The Retention Task Force, convened by the Dean of Undergraduate Education, focused on assessing and developing resources and programs to support low-income (and first-generation-college) students. Some of the Task Force’s recommendations are already in place (e.g., financial aid for Summer Session courses; financial aid for pre-Orientation programs; a half-credit “College 101″ course on academic skill-building and time management), and others are in process.

A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

Because the full need of all admitted students is met, we do not need to have special scholarships specifically for low-income students.

Both the Bridge to Engineering Success at Tufts (BEST) and the Bridge to Liberal Arts Success at Tufts (BLAST) programs are free for all students. Tuition, room and board, unlimited dining, travel costs, and textbooks, are provided by the program. Upon completion of the program, students will be awarded a stipend.

Tufts has a partnership with QuestBridge, a national college access organization that helps high-achieving, low-income students connect with elite colleges and universities. QuestBridge helps students apply to, afford, and attend some of the most competitive schools in the United States. (http://admissions.tufts.edu/apply/first-year-students/questbridge/)

Tufts offers a small scholarship program to help students pay for Tufts Summer Session, with preference given to lower-income students who need additional coursework to maintain a satisfactory academic standing and meet their academic goals. http://uss.tufts.edu/finaid/aid-policies/Summer.asp

The Tisch Summer Fellows (TSF) program offers funding for substantive internships that allow Tufts students to gain real-world skills, grow their networks, and explore career paths while building stronger communities on a local, national, or international level. TSF fellowships are available for undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students.

A brief description of any programs to guide parents of low-income students through the higher education experience:

Tufts maintains a number of resources for parents. These include a Parents Website (http://uss.tufts.edu/parents/), a class-specific letter sent each summer, and an e-newsletter sent each semester. The university also hosts both on and off campus events to keep families engaged. Tufts also has specific programming for parents during new student orientation. http://studentservices.tufts.edu/orientation/default.asp

A brief description of any targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

The Voices of Tufts Diversity Experience is an overnight program sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to expose high school seniors to the diversity that exists on the Tufts campus. Participants have the opportunity to experience academic and social life by staying with an undergraduate, attending lectures provided by professors, eating in the dining halls, and attending a performance of Tufts musical and dance performance groups. Travel assistance is available for students for whom the trip would present a financial hardship. The program is geared toward prospective students in low-income or rural areas, first generation college-bound students, students of color, LGBT students, and other students interested in learning about diversity within the Tufts Community.

A brief description of other admissions policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

As mentioned above, it is Tufts’ policy to meet 100% of the full demonstrated need of all admitted students. Financial Aid has a robust process to meet aid gaps for low-income students, including funding from donors and listed as scholarships.

A brief description of other financial aid policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

Financial aid awards to students from families with total income of less than $60,000 do not include student loans. Their full need is met with grants and work study. The standard freshman loan amount is $5,000, but individual loan amounts may range from $500 to $7,000 (maximum). No interest accrues on these loans and no payments are due until after the student graduates or leaves school.

Grants are awards that do not have to be repaid, and Tufts grants are always the largest source of grant aid received by Tufts undergraduates. Tufts Grants exceeded $69 million in 2014-15 and were by far the largest source of grant aid received by Tufts undergraduates. The amount of Tufts Grants ranged from $1,000 to more than $65,000 Tufts students also receive grant funds from federal and state programs such as Pell and SEOG grants, ROTC scholarships, as well as funding from a variety of private sources. The Class of 2019 received more than $22 million in total aid, over $18 million of which was in the form of grants. More than a third of enrolling freshman received an institutional grant.

A brief description of other policies and programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students not covered above:

Tufts promotes and makes information about outside scholarships easily accessible to students. http://uss.tufts.edu/finaid/FinAidLinks.asp

The university’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) helps eligible Tufts graduates working in public service repay a portion of their annual Tufts-incurred education loan debt. This program is believed to be the first university-wide program of its kind of the country. http://lrap.tufts.edu/

Does the institution have policies and programs in place to support non-traditional students?:

A brief description of any scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:

The Bernard Osher Re-entry Scholarship will be awarded to ten students entering the REAL (Resumed Education for Adult Learning) Program. This funding will relieve the financial burden for new students by reducing their loan contributions or the number of hours they need to work. http://uss.tufts.edu/undergradEducation/academics/real/finaid.asp

A brief description of any onsite child care facilities, partnerships with local facilities, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:

A child care center operated by Bright Horizons is located in the Tufts Administration Building (TAB) on Holland Street in Somerville. http://child-care-preschool.brighthorizons.com/MA/Somerville/teelesquare

The Eliot-Pearson Children’s School is also located on campus at 105 College Avenue, Medford. http://ase.tufts.edu/epcs/

A brief description of other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:

The REAL Program (Resumed Education for Adult Learning) is open to adults at least 24 years old who are seeking a Bachelor’s degree. Applicants have some college experience, with at least two courses taken at either two- or four-year institutions within the past 5 years. Each of the ~60 REAL students received individual attention from admission to graduation.

REAL students attend the same courses and earn the same degree as other Tufts undergraduates. REAL students are welcome to participate in the many student organizations and have access to all university facilities such as the library, the Academic Resource Center, the counseling center, and the gymnasium, with its state of the art fitness center.

First semester REAL students participate in a credit-bearing seminar that addresses adjustment issues of the adult student while introducing students to Tufts resources. The university also provides REAL students with a space for cooking light meals, meeting with study groups, or just spending time together. http://uss.tufts.edu/undergradEducation/academics/real/

Tufts offers students, including non-traditional students, a number of academic support services, including the opportunity for on-call writing tutoring with Graduate Writing Consultants. http://uss.tufts.edu/arc/writingtutoring/consultants.asp

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (accessibility and affordability indicators)?:

Indicators that the institution is accessible and affordable to low-income students::
Percentage (0-100)
The percentage of entering students that are low-income ---
The graduation/success rate for low-income students ---
The percentage of student financial need met, on average ---
The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt ---

The percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students:

The website URL where information about the institution's affordability and access programs is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.