Weekly Market Update

RICE UNIVERSITY TO INCREASE FINANCIAL AID PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY CAP TO $200,000

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Rice University announced on Tuesday that it will be offering full-tuition scholarships and grants to domestic undergraduate students from low- and middle- income backgrounds that qualify for need-based financial aid. Under the initiative, students from families with incomes between $65,000 and $130,000 will be eligible for full scholarships, and those from families with incomes below that threshold could receive additional grants to cover room, board, and other fees. Students from families with income falling between $130,000 and $200,000 will be eligible for grants that pay for at least half of their tuition. With endowment topping $5.5 billion, the University was one of the institutions scrutinized by federal lawmakers in 2016 as it looked to raise tuition. The continued increase in endowment is noted as a major contributing factor to the University's decision to offer the enhanced aid program, which will take effect in the fall of 2019.

In Other News

  • Today, the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority became the first municipality to sell a floating rate note based on the Secured Overnight Funding Rate (SOFR), the benchmark expected to largely replace LIBOR by 2021. The deal is the sixth SOFR-pegged FRN to be issued since the introduction of the benchmark in April.
  • With alternative investments performing well, U.S. endowments reached record values in fiscal 2018 as several public and private universities reported double-digit gains in their funds.
  • On Tuesday, Nebraska-based Creighton University announced that it will open a four-year medical school in Phoenix, Arizona. The school will be a part of a health sciences campus that will host other programs, such as nursing and physical therapy, and is a part of the University's $100 million expansion into the city.
  • Texas Tech University will collaborate with EDULINK, a subsidiary of the Promerica Group, to open a Costa Rica campus. Under the agreement, EDULINK developed the campus and will bear the full capital and operational cost, while Texas Tech will have full authority over all academic and student services.
  • Boston University will be allowed to claim legal credit to offset its carbon emissions in Massachusetts by purchasing power from a South Dakota windfarm, even though the power will be used in the Midwest. In addition to the annual 205,000-megawatt hour purchase over 15 years, the agreement between the University and ENGIE North America includes "educational and research opportunities for students," such as internships and annual tours.
  • On Monday, the California Institute of Technology opened its first new on-campus housing in more than two decades. The new structure, called the Bechtel Residence, will afford all undergraduate students an opportunity to live on campus throughout their four years and free some off-campus residences for graduate students.