Vanderbilt joins consortium of universities meeting full student financial need

(John Russell/Vanderbilt)

Vanderbilt University will be one of four colleges and universities joining the Consortium on Financing Higher Education on July 1, 2015. COFHE is an organization of private colleges and universities that share a commitment to excellent undergraduate education and affordability by offering significant grant aid that meets the full need of admitted students.

From its founding in the mid-1970s, COFHE has intentionally remained small to encourage in-person discussion and information sharing. Although it reviews its membership every five years, prior to this year’s addition of the four new schools the membership had remained unchanged since 1988.

In addition to Vanderbilt, the other new members are Bowdoin College, the California Institute of Technology and Middlebury College, bringing the total membership to 35 schools.

“We are very pleased to be able to add these new members,” said David Leebron, chair of the COFHE board of directors and president of Rice University. “They have already participated in a number of COFHE studies and projects, and we look forward to engaging them more fully in our work. We are confident that their presence will bring important new perspectives to our discussions.”

COFHE collects data and conducts research and policy analysis on matters related to access, affordability and assessment, particularly as they relate to undergraduate education, admissions, financial aid and the financing of higher education. Its activities are intended to inform and support institutional decision-making by its members.

Through its Opportunity Vanderbilt program, Vanderbilt meets 100 percent of a student’s demonstrated financial need. Financial aid awards do not include loans. Instead of offering need-based loans to undergraduate students, Vanderbilt offers additional grant assistance. The program is funded through an endowment, which has raised $195 million since its launch in 2008.