Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Stanford drops tuition for some students

For a different view coming from Berkeley see here

In a radical change to its financial aid program, Stanford University will announce today that it will no longer charge tuition to students whose families earn less than $100,000 a year.
In addition, the university will waive room and board fees for students whose families earn less than $60,000 a year.
University President John Hennessy will make the announcement today on campus, university Provost John Etchemendy confirmed late Tuesday.
The university is making the change in the wake of published reports last month that its endowment had grown almost 22 percent last year, to $17.1 billion. That sum had begun to attract attention from lawmakers who want wealthy institutions to do more to reduce tuition costs.
Financial aid also will increase to families that make more than $100,000 a year.
"Thanks to our increasingly generous financial aid program ... attending Stanford will cost less than most private and many public universities," Etchemendy said. "They're supposed to offer public benefit in return for the privilege of tax exemption," said Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. "If endowments increase by double digits from one year to the next, it raises the idea that maybe these schools aren't using enough of their endowments to help students afford college."Stanford's endowment is the third largest of any university in the country, behind only Harvard and Yale. In the past 10 years, tuition alone at Stanford increased from $21,300 to $34,800 - roughly $7,200 more than if it had held to the rate of inflation during the decade.
The university said 3 out of 4 students currently get some financial aid. The new program is expected to reduce the average bill paid by a student's family by 16 percent. (more...)

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