Stanford University = free to many families

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Higher Education, Tuition | Posted on 02-21-2008


No, we aren’t talking about free classes online or free lectures on iTunesU. We’re talking true, legit, FREE tuition to students whose families make less than $100,000 per year.

This is amazing, and a very bold move. From the article:

In a radical change to its financial aid program, Stanford University will announce today that it will no longer charge tuition to students whose families earn less than $100,000 a year.
In addition, the university will waive room and board fees for students whose families earn less than $60,000 a year.
University President John Hennessy will make the announcement today on campus, university Provost John Etchemendy confirmed late Tuesday.
The university is making the change in the wake of published reports last month that its endowment had grown almost 22 percent last year, to $17.1 billion. That sum had begun to attract attention from lawmakers who want wealthy institutions to do more to reduce tuition costs.

I am just.. amazed. What a proactive response from them.

Comments posted (6)

I heard this on the news this morning. Made me immediately start to think “maybe I should go to Stanford and get a PhD”.

I’m sure a lot of people are going to be thinking similar thoughts.

Given the choice: Pay to go to a public university OR go to Stanford for free, which would you choose if you were a prospective student?

I think it’s clear that Stanford has upped the ante in the competition for students.

I’m curious if this is actually a change in the amount of aid they award to these students or if they are simply changing the way they collect funds and do the billing. Many highly selective schools will meet 100% of a student’s financial need if they meet the rigorous admission criteria. I’ll have to read more about it but it just seems like it may not be as bold of a move as they’re making it sound.

This is actually a move a lot of Ivy Plus schools are making…Dartmouth just announced a similar initiative and of course Harvard and Yale already have them. In response to Ellen, it changes aid in that a lot of schools are getting right of loans and replacing them with grants so that students leave schools debt free.

Thanks for the info Karlyn. In that case, good for them for dedicating institutional funds to those students who need and deserve it most!

Lots of Ivies and elites doing this. Stanford isn’t at the forefront, but not riding the tail, either.

Working for a private college, I wonder what the trickle-down effect will be.

The colleges doing this so far have huge endowments to support it. Many private colleges, however, are tuition-driven and are hardly in a position to make these moves.

Makes me glad in a way I no longer recruit a territory – these free tuition moves combined with a tighter lending market could make for an interesting year financial aid season.


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