Stanford: Free Tuition?

Stanford: Free Tuition?

Stanford just admitted 5 percent of its more than 42,000 freshman applicants — roughly 16 percent being the first in their families to attend college. Stanford also just increased tuition 3.5 percent while also expanding their financial aid program by offering free tuition — to a certain extent.

Free tuition will apply if parents of students earn less than $125,000 per year and have assets of less than $300,000 (excluding retirement accounts). And if parents earn less than $65,000 per year, they won’t need to contribute to room and board costs either.

Stanford’s website notes: “We use an institutional formula to calculate an expected parent contribution toward educational costs. Our goal is to treat families equitably while still maintaining flexibility to recognize unusual situations.”

Without financial aid, students at Stanford can expect to pay $65,000 per year.  The university is among the wealthiest in the nation with a $21 billion endowment and plenty of wealthy students (or parents of students) admitted yearly which help offset their financial aid programs. With an income threshold of $125,000 per year, it would appear the newly expanded financial aid program could benefit students from middle-income families as well as those from lower income families.

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