Education News

Rice University to Give Free Tuition to Middle-Class Undergraduates

What’s more, Rice administrators say that families making even more — up to $200,000 — will get scholarships covering at least half of their tuition.

A picture of Rice University's Commencement Ceremony
The plan is called the Rice Investment and takes effect in the fall of 2019, giving more generous packages to all degree-seeking undergraduates – including continuing students – who are eligible for aid based on need.

Rice University announced Tuesday that it will give full tuition scholarships to middle-class undergraduates, following the likes of Stanford, Princeton and other elite higher education institutions trying to make college more affordable for more families.

It costs just over $46,000 in annual tuition to attend Rice University.

That may be a bargain compared to other private institutions. But starting in the fall of 2019, Rice will give free tuition to students whose families earn between $65,000 and $130,000 a year.

“Talent deserves opportunity,” Rice President David Leebron said in a statement. “We’ve built on our already generous financial aid to provide more support to lower-income and middle-class families and ensure that these students have access to the best in private higher education.”

What’s more, Rice administrators said that families making even more — up to $200,000 — will get scholarships covering at least half of their tuition.

And low-income families will receive more generous financial packages, including fees, room and board, on top of tuition.

The plan, called “The Rice Investment,” will apply to all undergraduates, not just incoming freshman, who are eligible for aid based on need.

“The Rice Investment will give more students from middle-income families an extraordinary opportunity at an extraordinary university,” said in a statement Bobby Tudor, chairman of the university’s board.

To pay for the program, Rice is trying to raise $150 million.

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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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