Even if you’ve heard the news, we feel this is worth repeating; Stanford University has offered free tuition to accepted students (you need a good GPA) who come from families making less than $125,000 a year, and have assets worth $300,000 or less. For families making less than $65,000 a year, this includes room and board.
The announcement came in 2015, when the university publicized their admission of 2,144 students into their early action program. The university also stated at this time that their financial aid program, which was rather fair to begin with, had been adjusted from the previous $100K income threshold per year to $125K, while the threshold for families who qualify for free room and board was raised by $5ooo from the original $60,000.
In a statement from Provost John Etchemendy:
“Our highest priority is that Stanford remain affordable and accessible to the most talented students, regardless of their financial circumstances. Our generous financial aid program accomplishes that, and these enhancements will help even more families, including those in the middle class, afford Stanford without going into debt. Over half of our undergraduates receive financial aid from Stanford, and we are pleased that this program will make it even easier for students to thrive here.”
Students are expected to contribute at least $5000 a year from summer income, savings, and part-time work during the school year. With free room and board, this is a realistic obligation. Scholarships or grant funds will cover the rest, and the university also has a $21 million endowment to help them achieve their goal of providing high-quality education to students, regardless of their financial circumstances.
By 2015, it was stated that “77 percent of Stanford undergraduates leave the university at graduation with no student debt,” according to the announcement. Families with incomes up to $225K a year could qualify for financial aid programs as well, if more than one family member is enrolled.
Stanford isn’t the only university offering free tuition. According to Think Progress, “Princeton offers free tuition to parents who make less than $120000 and free room and board to those who make under $60,000. Harvard and Yale make tuition free for families who make less than $65000, while Harvard asks those who make between that level and $150000 to contribute between 0 and 10 percent of their income.”
It’s also a good idea to check with your local community college, to see if your state provides free education programs as well, like those of Tennessee and Oregon, who provide free tuition at a two-year community college to all high-school graduates.
We can only hope this recent movement in education is an indication of positive changes to come. Let’s take advantage of the opportunity, so we can fix the previous generations’ screw-ups.
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