Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 62.73
Liaison Tina Woolston
Submission Date Aug. 1, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Tufts University
PAE-10: Affordability and Access Programs

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Laura Doane
Program Director, Advertising and Scholarships
Office-Dean Undergraduate Education
"---" 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 the institution’s participation in federal TRIO programs:

We do not participate in TRIO programs, but various staff have worked in TRIO programs and we’ve incorporated some of those best practices.

A brief description of the institution’s policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students?:

All undergraduate financial aid is based on need as determined by an analysis of family finances. This need, or aid eligibility, is the difference between educational expenses and the university's estimate of what the family can contribute toward those expenses.

Tufts does not offer any undergraduate merit or academic scholarships. All aid is based solely on financial need and is not adjusted for superior academic performance or extracurricular activities.

For more about how Tufts' financial aid is calculated, see http://uss.tufts.edu/finaid/awarding-info/Eligibility.asp.

The Fletcher School awards over $6 million in scholarship aid for graduate students annually. Fletcher Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit and need to both U.S. citizens/permanent residents and non-U.S. citizens. For more information about Fletcher awards, see http://fletcher.tufts.edu/admissions/scholarships.shtml.

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

We schedule one or two advising workshops a semester for pre-major academic advisors. These are resource reminders (ARC services, mental health data and conversation starters, etc) and facilitators work with the program director of advising and scholarships to fold in components to address the specific needs of our increasingly “diverse” population of students. On a smaller scale, we have the CSEMS (Computer Science, Engineering, or Mathematics Scholars - http://www.cs.tufts.edu/research/csems/) and HCF (Health Careers Fellows - http://ase.tufts.edu/commhealth/HCOP.htm) programs, which engage faculty and staff in presentation capacities. The Center for STEM Diversity (http://stemdiversity.tufts.edu/) also assists faculty and staff in both schools to think about issues of homogeneity in those fields and helps with awareness of local/national programs and resources to alleviate professional under-representation of specific groups. CELT (Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching - http://celt.tufts.edu/) is in the process of bringing the issues of socioeconomic and parental education gaps more into some of its offerings as well.

A brief description of the institution’s programs to prepare students from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

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. There is a significant overlap between these groups and students of color at Tufts. 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.

Computer Science, Engineering, and Math Scholars (CSEMS)

CSEMS promotes the academic advancement and degree achievement of talented undergraduates from low-income backgrounds, with an emphasis on underrepresented groups, females, and/or first-generation college-goers. The program provides students with scholarships that replace their work-study grants, thereby freeing them from the need to hold a job and allowing them to focus more on schoolwork. CSEMS students also meet weekly as a group as first-years and sophomores, and are mentored by junior-year alumni of the program, graduate students, and faculty.
Names of incoming undergrads who are identified from Admissions data as the first in their families to attend a 4-year college (1st-gen) are sent to the Office of Program Director for Advising and Scholarships. 1st-gen students are matched by hand with academic advisers who have served in that capacity for a number of years and have experience with some of the challenges unique to the 1st-gen college transition. This group of advisers also attends additional training to other advisers and meets regularly to discuss ways in which this group of students could be better supported at the institution.

Incoming 1st-gen freshman in New England are invited to a celebration and resources fair prior to their matriculation – August Preview.

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.

There are, However, Computer Science, Engineering and Match Scholars (CSEMS) and Health Careers Fellows (HCF) programs. These are invitation only programs to support under-represented students in the related fields. Both recruit and enroll admitted students prior to matriculation and keep them in the program for the course of their Tufts career, provide comprehensive regular programming, mentoring matches, and scholarship aid.

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

The Tufts Parents Program serves as a bridge between families and their students at the university. Throughout the academic year, the Parents Program hosts events on and off campus to keep families engaged with their students' Tufts experience and connected to the rich academic and cultural life of the university. For more information, see http://parentsprogram.tufts.edu/.

Incoming 1st-gen students and students who will receive a federal PELL grant (usually this means family income is less than 150% the federal poverty line) get personal calls over the summer prior to matriculation. Both groups are engaged in conversations to help make sense of paperwork and logistical requirements and to make sure that all opportunities that may seem more accessible to higher-income students or students with college-savvy families (i.e. Pre-Orientation programs, contacting a faculty member one-on-one, utilizing new books and/or a personal computer, etc.) are considered an option. PELL grant recipients are also asked about their plans for travel to campus for move-in, accommodation of parents and related planning with a significant financial component.

A brief description of the institution’s targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

Voices of Tufts: the Diversity Experience

Voices is a program sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for prospective students of color; first generation college-bound students; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) students; students in low income or rural areas; and other students interested in learning about diversity within the Tufts Community. High school seniors are invited to take advantage of this excellent opportunity to explore campus, attend classes, meet professors, and spend a night with current students.

Voices is run by Undergraduate Admissions, http://admissions.tufts.edu/?pid=168.

A brief description of the institution’s other admissions policies and programs:

In terms of making Tufts affordable for low-income students, Financial Aid has a robust process to meet aid gaps for low-income students, including funding from donors and listed as scholarships. Our Program Director of Advising and Scholarships also works with students to try and get a number of need-based scholarships that are not offered by Tufts.

A brief description of the institution’s other financial aid polices or programs:

One of Tufts' biggest priorities is to become a need-blind institution. We are striving toward this goal with our Beyond Boundaries financial campaign: http://advancement.tufts.edu/why_give/support_financial_aid.html

Tufts offers an additional benefit to low income students: students from families with total income of less than $40,000 get financial aid awards that do not include student loans. Their full need is met with grants and work study. This typically means that their grant will be $2500-$5000 higher than the standard financial aid package.

Tufts offer to pay the cost of health insurance for any Pell Grant recipient (which are typically our lowest income students) who is not covered by a family health insurance plan.

In light of the recent economic recession, Tufts has recognized that it is difficult for some students to continue their education at Tufts. So we started the Tufts Student Fund, a student-driven fund that provides a scholarship to a returning student. See more at http://www.tufts.edu/development/ways_to_give/ase_studentfund.html.

A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs not covered above:

In addition, the summer before enrollment, Tufts sends a mailing out to all financial aid students with money saving tips to help them minimize their cost of attendance. The tips include advice on renting textbooks, or buying them used, taking advantage of free and low cost entertainment on campus, and avoiding spending a lot of money to buy stuff for their dorm rooms recommended by Bed&Bath and other stores.

The website URL where information about programs in each of the areas listed above 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.