Stanford to provide cost-free education

University extends opportunity to middle and upper-class students

By Christian Urrutia, Photo Editor

Stanford University has now extended financial aid opportunities beyond just students whose parents live in lower socioeconomic brackets, therefore opening up possibilities for many potential applicants.

These economic thresholds have increased to allow more candidates who do come from affluent homes to apply.

Quoted in the press release dated March 27, Stanford’s Associate Dean and Director of Financial Aid Karen Cooper said, “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.”

The Office of Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid announced that parents are not expected to contribute toward the tuition costs.

Under new guidelines, Stanford will expect no parental support toward educational costs from parents with annual incomes below $125,000, set previously at $100,000 and zero contribution for room and board from parents with incomes lower than $65,000, previously $60,000.

The implications are far-reaching for students to have a cost-free education, particularly high school students interested in applying to one of the most prestigious universities in the nation, let alone the state.

Contra Costa College financial aid Supervisor Monica Rodriguez was unavailable for comment as of press time Tuesday.

Counselor Sarah Boland said, “I think it is reassuring that these (types of) colleges are realizing the stigma that is attached with being a big name university and that the recognition of talent is spread across many different socioeconomic backgrounds.

“Academic proficiency doesn’t live in one socioeconomic bracket — somebody’s income does not define their ability in school.”

According to the Stanford report, Provost John Etchemendy said, “Our highest priority is that Stanford remain affordable and accessible to the most talented students, regardless of their financial circumstances.”

Stanford Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Richard Shaw said, “The opportunities at Stanford are limitless, and our newly enhanced financial support makes these opportunities more accessible than ever before.”

Boland said it is a huge sigh of relief for potential applicants, since annual costs for a typical Stanford student are roughly $65,000 before financial aid.

Although the prospect of a cost-free education from an elite private school comes with a hindrance for junior college transfers.

“They really are a school that accepts freshman. That’s the catch,” Boland said. “Yes, it’s phenomenal, but it’s a better option for Middle College High School students.”

According to the Stanford’s transfer requirements and process on the admissions page, Boland is indeed correct.