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Stanford University Cuts Tuition for Students From Low-Income Families

Stanford University Cuts Tuition for Students From Low-Income Families


      Families with annual incomes of less than $45,000 will not be expected to contribute to the cost of tuition at Stanford University, and the requirements for middle-income families will be cut in half, Dr. Richard Shaw, dean of undergraduate admission and financial aid, announced last week.

      The change applies to both new and continuing undergraduate students and will go into effect with the new academic year in September. The program is anticipated to cost the university $3 million in the first year.

      “With this new program, we are telling talented students from families with low to moderate incomes that they should apply with confidence. If they are admitted, we’ll cover their costs,” Shaw said.

      The implementation of the policies follows a decision made last spring by President John Hennessy that the university would work toward eliminating financial contributions for families with incomes below $45,000. The initiative follows similar policies at other Ivy League institutions, including Yale and Harvard universities.

      During the current academic year, parents of enrolled students with incomes below $45,000 contributed an average of $2,650 toward education costs. Parents with incomes between $45,000 and $60,000 will see their expected contribution reduced to an average of $3,800. The changes will affect more than 1,100 students.

      The university already has committed $66 million of its own funds for next year’s financial aid program. This year, the total aid provided to undergraduates from the university and other sources surpassed $112 million. About 76 percent of Stanford undergraduates receive some form of internal or external financial aid.

      “Students from low-income backgrounds are underrepresented at our nation’s most selective institutions,” Shaw said while announcing the policy change. “Stanford has historically had a strong financial aid program for low-income students. But many families may not know that or may be discouraged by the stated tuition. So we want to be more forceful with this new program in encouraging talented low-income students to consider Stanford.”

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