Stanford Offers Free Tuition for Families Making $125,000 or Less a Year

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Stanford University is cutting students a major break on tuition.

The University announced that tuition would be free for students whose families earn less than $125,000 a year, increasing the amount from $100,000. In addition to that, there will be "zero parental contribution" toward tuition or room or board for parents with annual incomes below $65,000.

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

"This expansion of the financial aid program is a demonstration of Stanford's commitment to access for outstanding students from all backgrounds – including not only those from the lowest socioeconomic status, but also middle- and upper-middle-class families who need our assistance as well," Karen Cooper, associate dean and director of financial aid, said.
Bill And Melinda Gates Give Commencement Address At Stanford UniversityFamilies with incomes at higher income levels, typically around $225,000, may also qualify for financial assistance, especially if more than one family member is enrolled in College.

The huge tuition break aside, students won't get off completely scot-free. They will still be expected to contribute at least $5,000 per year from earnings summer income, savings or part-time work during the School year.

So far, Stanford's financial aid system seems to be working well for students - even before the changes made this year. Currently, 77 percent of Stanford undergraduates graduate with no student debt. Considering that it costs about $65,000 a year to attend the university, those numbers are impressive.

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