In a controversial move Stanford University announced that families earning less then $100,000 no longer have to pay tuition. Also, families earning less then $60,000 a year no longer have to pay tuition, the costs of room and board, or any other expenses. The program was designed to eliminate student loans and will begin in the 2008-2009 academic year.
Stanford enrolls approximately 1,650 freshmen students per year, and around 35% of this year’s freshman class have an income of less then $100,000 while 20% have less than $60,000 per year. The cost of tuition, room, and board for students is $45,606 per year, which is a huge chunk of low-income families’ annual income.
Stanford President John Hennessy says this initiative shows that, “devoting more resources to financial aid, we seek to underscore what has long been the case-that no high school senior should rule out applying to Stanford because of cost.”
The total amount that Stanford is allocating to its financial aid program is $114 million.
Now comes the big question: how will the university pay for this? Stanford will increase the payout from his endowment to 5.5 percent while doubling its fund-raising goal to $200 million. However if these goals aren’t met don’t be surprised if students find their tuition bills increased.