Rice University in Houston unveiled a new financial aid plan on Tuesday that will provide full tuition scholarships to some students from low- and middle-class families.

“The Rice Investment,” which will take effect in fall 2019, allows for students to receive full tuition scholarships if their families' income ranges between $65,000 and $130,000, and half tuition for students from families earning between $130,001 and $200,000. 

If family income ranges below $65,000, the school will also cover additional mandatory fees and room and board.


"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."

Rice’s current annual tuition is $46,600. 

The Rice Investment program also targets student debt by eliminating the need to take out loans as part of their need-based financial packages. 

Students from families with incomes up to $200,000 will be able to replace loans with scholarships and additional grants.

They will be expected to pick up summer or academic-year jobs to put toward the cost of attending the school.

"This bold step reflects our founding principles," Leebron said. "When Rice opened its doors in 1912, we didn't charge tuition. Rice changed its charter in 1965 to begin charging tuition, but immediately began offering scholarships to eligible students. This significantly builds on that legacy and on our commitment to make a Rice education accessible and affordable for students from all backgrounds."