You may have heard that Stanford University is waiving tuition for students with families making less than $100,000 annually. If your family makes less than $60,000, room and board is waived as well. This is not chump change: Annual tuition for Stanford is around $35,000 a year and housing is $11,000 a year.
What was interesting was the last line: Only about a third of students are expected to qualify. According to the 2006 census only 19% of US households made more than $100,000. For the students at Stanford, approximately 67% of families make more than $100,000. Of course, Stanford is in California where the incomes are higher overall. Still, this information makes me want to know the income breakdown of various community, state, and private schools out there. It will also be interesting to see what Stanford’s make-up becomes after this decision comes into effect.
In an ideal world, such things wouldn’t matter, but it’s quite apparent from this move that it does. Many qualified students don’t apply to certain schools due to high costs, and this will help Stanford get more of those kids. Financial aid may bridge the gap with loans, but not everyone wants to leave school with $100,000 in loans.