Stanford University Offers Free Tuition to Families Earning Less than $125,000

Stanford University is putting a strong foot forward to make its school more affordable to all families.

Last week, the prestigious university announced that it was expanding its financial aid by increasing the income threshold at which parents are not expected to contribute to the school’s tuition. Under its new policy, Stanford will provide free tuition to students whose families earn less than $125,000, which is up from its current $100,000 income cut off. Also, students who come from families with an annual income less than $65,000, up from its current standard of $60,000, will pay zero contribution towards not only tuition, but also room and board.

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“Our highest priority is that Stanford remain affordable and accessible to the most talented students, regardless of their financial circumstances,” said Provost John Etchemendy. “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.”

While the university is eliminating the contribution cost for parents, its students are expected to pay up to $5,000 each year from summer earnings, savings and part-time work. However, there’s no rule that parents can’t help cover their child’s required contribution.

Currently, the annual cost for a typical Stanford student before financial aid is $65,000, with 77 percent of undergraduates leaving the institution debt free. Their expansive financial aid package is made possible by enrolling a high portion of wealthy students, who pay higher tuition that helps subsidize lower-income peers. Stanford is also one of the world’s richest universities, with an endowment of $21 billion.