Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.01
Liaison Paul Mathisen
Submission Date May 23, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Worcester Polytechnic Institute
PA-7: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.29 / 4.00 Liz Tomaszewski
Facilities Systems Manager/Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Department
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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

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

WPI offers a variety of need-based scholarships and other aid to assist low-income students. Tuition and fees may also be paid through a monthly payment plan to reduce the overall amount of money students need to borrow.


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

a. WPI provides professional training and sets high expectations of faculty and staff to support its students from all backgrounds.
b. An administrative team consisting of representatives from the Dean of Students, student aid and financial literacy office, the Bursar’s office, and several other student support departments meets regularly to proactively consider at-risk students, including those from low-income backgrounds, and consider financial appeals.
c. The office of student aid and financial literacy provides free year-round programming and resources to students to promote financial education and literacy.


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

Students are provided support and counsel prior to enrolling through the office of student aid and financial literacy. This support continues throughout the student’s time at WPI and is enhanced by several other departments as well as the student’s “Insight team” which is a part of the first-year experience for all students.


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

a. WPI offers need-based scholarships. The formula for determining need involves comparing cost of attendance (including tuition, room and board, fees, personal expenses and books) to the expected family contribution (EFC).
b. WPI has also removed itself from scholarship programs, such as the National Merit Scholarship Program, which rely on high-stakes standardized testing – which strongly correlates to a student’s family income level – and redistributed these funds to scholarships that are accessible to all of our students.


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

WPI’s Targeted Domestic Recruitment team provides training and support for the recruitment of students from low-income areas. Specifically, this team works with the broader admissions team to ensure that all counselors traveling for recruitment are visiting school districts with high levels of low-income students. WPI partners with dozens of Community Based Organizations each year to specifically recruit and support students from low-income backgrounds.


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

WPI provides need-based aid for low-income students and they are also eligible for merit-based aid which is tied to academic performance. In addition, WPI has moved to eliminate scholarship programs, such as the National Merit Scholarship, that rely on high-stakes standardized test scores (which strongly correlate with a student’s family income level).


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

A brief description of the institution’s scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:

N/A


A brief description of the institution’s on-site child care facility, partnership with a local facility, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:

WPI has established a relationship with First Friends, an early care and educational center for infants, toddlers, and preschool children, through which WPI employees and students are given preference if there is a wait list to get into the center. First Friends provides a supportive, nurturing, and stimulating program that responds to the developmental needs of each child. First Friends is located adjacent to the WPI campus.


A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:
Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (tracking accessibility and affordability)? (If data is not available, select 'No'):
Yes

The percentage of entering students that are low-income (0-100):
15

The graduation/success rate for low-income students (0-100):
---

On average, the percentage of need that was met for students who were awarded any need-based aid (e.g. as reported to the U.S. Common Data Set initiative, item H2) (0-100):
77

The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt or for whom no out-of-pocket tuition is required (i.e. the percentage of graduates who have not taken out interest-bearing loans) (0-100):
37

Estimated percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students (0-100):
25

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.