In late March, Stanford University announced that accepted students who have low family income backgrounds will no longer have to pay for tuition, which can cost up to $46,000 per year.
According to ThinkProgress, those whose families make less than $125,000 a year and have assets worth $300,000 or less, including home equity but excluding anything they’ve saved in retirement accounts, won’t have to pay a cent in tuition.
Also, students whose families earn less than $65,000 won’t have to pay for room and board fees, which can add up to $14,100. The cost will be covered by scholarships, grants, and the $21 billion school endowment. Previously, the thresholds for free tuition were $100,000 and $60,000 for free room and board.
But Stanford isn’t the only place offering free tuition. Princeton offers free tuition to parents who make less than $120,000 and free room and board to those who make under $60,000. Harvard and Yale make tuition free for families who make less than $65,000, while Harvard asks those who make between that level and $150,000 to contribute between 0 and 10 percent of their income.
The idea has also cropped up outside of elite private schools and gone even further. Harper College in Palatine, Illinois recently announced that it will offer two years of community college free for high school graduates who maintain high grades, attendance levels, and community service engagement for four years.
Much of the criticism that university and governments face over the inflated cost of an education could be avoided if $69 billion currently spent on grants, tax breaks, and work-study funds could be put towards covering tuition at colleges. Either way, it seems things are looking up for students who are not financially endowed.
Featured image via Standford.edu