North­eastern Uni­ver­sity has announced that it will pro­vide a record $221.4 mil­lion in insti­tu­tional grants—not loans—for the 2014–15 aca­d­emic year. Over the past five years at North­eastern, finan­cial aid has increased at double the rate of tuition.

Under­grad­uate tuition for 2014–15 will be $42,534, a 4.3 per­cent increase from the cur­rent year. Fac­toring in the record level of finan­cial aid, the “net increase” in tuition will be 3.2 percent.

Notably, North­eastern will meet the full demon­strated need of all freshmen aid appli­cants this year—an impor­tant goal that the uni­ver­sity is achieving three years ahead of schedule and one that has been guided by the institution’s Long Range Plan. More than 70 per­cent of first-​​year stu­dents cur­rently receive either need-​​based grant aid or merit scholarships.

We are com­mitted to making a North­eastern edu­ca­tion afford­able to tal­ented stu­dents from all socioe­co­nomic back­grounds,” said Jane Brown, vice pres­i­dent for enroll­ment man­age­ment. “We work in part­ner­ship with stu­dents and their fam­i­lies to pro­vide all finan­cial aid resources for which they are eligible.”

In addi­tion to the unprece­dented invest­ment in finan­cial aid, the uni­ver­sity pro­vides the “North­eastern Promise,” a unique com­pact that guar­an­tees eight semes­ters of funding to stu­dents who receive need-​​based North­eastern grant assis­tance. Need-​​based grants auto­mat­i­cally increase at the same rate of any future tuition increase.

Building on that ini­tia­tive, North­eastern par­tic­i­pates in the national “Say Yes to Edu­ca­tion” pro­gram, which allows par­tic­i­pating stu­dents with family income below $75,000 to attend tuition free. North­eastern also offers 150 full tuition schol­ar­ships to Boston Public Schools grad­u­ates. The uni­ver­sity reg­u­larly hosts col­lege readi­ness events for BPS stu­dents and their fam­i­lies aimed at helping them pre­pare and apply for col­lege and finan­cial aid.

North­eastern con­tinues to expe­ri­ence a record demand for its expe­ri­en­tial edu­ca­tion model and career out­comes. Its sig­na­ture co-​​op pro­gram com­bines rig­orous class­room learning with mean­ingful career-​​​​aligned work expe­ri­ence and pro­vides stu­dents with a com­pet­i­tive edge after grad­u­a­tion. Ninety per­cent of grad­u­ates from 2006 through 2012 were employed full time or enrolled in grad­uate school nine months after grad­u­a­tion. Eighty-​​seven per­cent of full-​​​​time employed grad­u­ates were doing work related to their major. Within that group, 51 per­cent received a job offer from a pre­vious co-​​op employer.

North­eastern received 49,822 appli­ca­tions for 2,800 seats for the fall 2014 freshman class—more than in any pre­vious year and at an appli­ca­tion to seat ratio of 18-​​to-​​1. The group of admitted stu­dents exceeds all pre­vious bench­marks in terms of aca­d­emic achieve­ment, total appli­cants, and geo­graphic diversity.

The con­sis­tent increase in the quality and quan­tity of stu­dents applying to North­eastern year after year is reflec­tive of the university’s world-​​​​class fac­ulty, global co-​​​​op and expe­ri­en­tial learning oppor­tu­ni­ties, a vibrant entre­pre­neurial envi­ron­ment, and stu­dents’ access to research.