The Stanford University has recently declared that students from those homes where the annual household income is less than $ 125,000 will not have to pay tuition fee. This criteria covers those families whose assets are equal to or less than $300,000. These assets will include home equity but retirement saving accounts will be excluded. What’s more, those whose family income is less than $65,000 will be exempt from accommodation charges as well.
Tuition fee at Stanford can go up to $46,000 per year, while lodging and other fee can cost an additional $14,000. Not all of this fee will be forgiven, though, as student will have to pitch in at least $5,000 annually to the varsity either through part-time or summer jobs or savings.
“Our highest priority is that Stanford remain affordable and accessible to the most talented students, regardless of their financial circumstances,” a statement by the varsity quoted Provost John Etchemendy as saying, adding, “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.”
Stanford claims to have about 77 per cent of its student population graduate debt free, whereas on an average about 70 per cent student are debt ridden at the time of leaving college in the US. With student loans having increased three-fold in the past ten years or so, almost 30 per cent of students having started their EMIs are struggling to make the payments on time.
There are other universities who have been giving away free education as well such as Princeton which makes tuition free for students from under $120,000 income households and for those with less than $60,000, free accommodation facilities as well. So do Harvard and Yale with the bar set at equal to or less than $65,000 annually. Recently, Harper College in Illinois declared that community college will be free of cost for up to two years for those high school students who keep a steady track record of academic performance, classroom attendance, and the like during their last years in school.
In the US many states such as Tennessee and Chicago have rolled out similar state sponsored programmes for free community college so as to make education accessible to all. Earlier this year, US President Barack Obama had suggested a plan to make community colleges free for certain high school pass-outs with steady GPAs, among other criteria.
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