Stanford expands its financial aid program

Stanford is expanding financial aid by increasing the income thresholds at which parents are not expected to contribute toward educational costs.

Under the new policy, effective fall 2015, Stanford will expect no parental contribution toward tuition from parents with annual incomes below $125,000 – previously $100,000 – and typical assets. And there will be zero parental contribution toward tuition, room or board for parents with annual incomes below $65,000 – previously $60,000 – and typical assets.

“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.”

Expanded financial aid

Stanford has long been committed to need-blind admissions for U.S. students, supported by a financial aid program that meets the demonstrated financial need of all admitted undergraduate students.

Since 2008-09, Stanford has provided two simple benchmarks that make it easy for prospective students to understand the possibilities for getting financial support from Stanford. These two benchmarks are being updated for all undergraduates for the 2015-16 year, with no parental contribution toward tuition expected for those with annual incomes below $125,000 and typical assets, and no parental contribution toward tuition, room or board expected for those below $65,000 with typical assets. Scholarship or grant funds will be provided to cover these costs in lieu of a parental contribution.

In either case, students will still be expected to contribute toward their own educational expenses from summer income, savings and part-time work during the school year. Students are expected to contribute at least $5,000 per year from these sources but are not expected to borrow to make the contribution.

Currently, 77 percent of Stanford undergraduates leave the university at graduation with no student debt.

Families with incomes at higher levels, typically up to $225,000, may also qualify for financial assistance, especially if more than one family member is enrolled in college. Financial aid offers vary by family, but the financial aid expansion for 2015-16 will allow Stanford to reduce the expected parental contribution for many families at these higher income levels.

Annual costs for a typical Stanford student total roughly $65,000 before financial aid.

“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,” said Karen Cooper, associate dean and director of financial aid.

Admits to Class of 2019

Stanford also recently announced that it had offered admission to 2,144 students, including 742 applicants who were accepted last December through the early action program.

The Class of 2019 was selected from 42,487 candidates, the largest applicant pool in Stanford’s history. The admitted students come from 50 states and 77 countries.

Of the admitted class, 16 percent are first-generation college students.

“We are honored by the interest in Stanford and the experiences shared by all prospective students through the application process,” said Richard Shaw, dean of admission and financial aid. “The young people admitted to the Class of 2019 will engage their undergraduate years at Stanford with energy and initiative. Their contributions will impact the world in immeasurable ways. We are thrilled to communicate the good news to these accomplished students. The opportunities at Stanford are limitless, and our newly enhanced financial support makes these opportunities more accessible than ever before.”

Students admitted under the early and regular decision admission program have until May 1 to accept Stanford’s offer.