Stanford for Free? University Expands Scope of Financial Aid

Photo (cc) by StanfordEng

Going to college just got a little easier and a whole lot cheaper for some Stanford University students.

Stanford announced it’s expanding its financial aid to students by increasing its income thresholds. The university will now waive tuition for students whose parents have typical assets and earn less than $125,000 per year (previously $100,000), Stanford said.

If family income is below $65,000 per year (previously $60,000), those students will also receive free room and board, Stanford added.

Stanford provost John Etchemendy said in a statement:

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 $5,000 per year for educational expenses from summer income, savings and part-time work during the school year, the Stanford release added.

For students paying full freight at Stanford, which is based in Palo Alto, California, the cost can run close to $60,000 a year. (Ouch.) Undergraduate tuition is about $45,700 for 2015-16, while room and board costs an estimated $14,100, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Stanford noted that nearly 77 percent of its undergraduate students graduate with no student debt.

Before you get too excited about attending Stanford for free, take heed: the admissions process is not easy. Stanford announced that it had offered admission to 2,144 undergraduates for the class of 2019, out of 42,487 candidates who applied.

Although Stanford’s commitment to waive tuition and other expenses for students who qualify under its new income thresholds seems mighty generous, there are several colleges that have reduced tuition for all students, The Washington Post reports.

“Southern Virginia University, for instance, cut tuition and fees 23 percent from $18,900 to $14,600 a year, while Converse College in South Carolina brought down its prices by 43 percent to $16,500 a year,” the Post said.

U.S. News & World Report said that although free tuition for some students sounds great, “subsidizing tuition without addressing the true cost of college just puts a Band-Aid on an open wound.”

Stanford’s Board of Trustees has voted to hike tuition by a minimum of 3 percent every year for the past 10 years, U.S. News noted.

In doing so, the university funds its financial aid initiative in part from the tuition revenue wealthy students bring in. It also has a $21 billion endowment, and a portion of the returns each year goes toward university operations.

What do you think about Stanford’s tuition waiver for some students? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
8 Key Steps to Planning for Retirement as a Couple
8 Key Steps to Planning for Retirement as a Couple

Ready for retirement? Not so fast. You might be surprised at some of the issues that come up for couples when they plan.

7 Reasons Not to Move When You Retire
7 Reasons Not to Move When You Retire

Sunny skies and warm breezes sound great. But in reality, you might be better off retiring closer to home.

Don’t Pay for These 10 Things: They Are Free With a Library Card
Don’t Pay for These 10 Things: They Are Free With a Library Card

Before you spend another dollar on items and services like these, check with your public library.

16 Affordable Products That Could Save Your Life
16 Affordable Products That Could Save Your Life

You’ll want to order these sometimes surprising products from Amazon ASAP.

7 Secret Perks of Individual Retirement Accounts
7 Secret Perks of Individual Retirement Accounts

IRAs come with bells and whistles that many other accounts lack — including some perks you may not know exist.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

These Major Appliances Got the Worst Reviews in 2020
These Major Appliances Got the Worst Reviews in 2020

Consumer Reports says these home products got the worst ratings from experts.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have all of these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?
Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?

Researchers say too many doctors are overlooking this potential source of hypertension.

11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco
11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco

Not all generics are worthwhile, but these are among the best from Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

3 Cable TV Companies Hiking Prices for 2021
3 Cable TV Companies Hiking Prices for 2021

Still married to your cable company? Hold on to your wallet!

8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone
8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone

It’s never too early to start learning how to live well while living on less.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.