College acceptances to Ivy League schools are rolling out to many high school seniors on Thursday at 5 p.m. Students will have to select schools based on fit, program quality, and financial aid.
While comfort level and college prestige are quite subjective, financial aid packages are an objective measure that students can assess if they are having a difficult time picking their top choice.
Financial aid decisions are, of course, determined exclusively by each respective financial aid office, and students and families should take note that free tuition and “no [family] contribution toward the cost of education” are two separate things.
When free tuition cutoffs are highlighted on school websites, that typically means families still must pay room and board costs.
Below are the financial aid offerings that the eight Ivy League schools and Stanford — with newly updated financial aid guidelines — provide to students on their financial aid websites.
Families with total parental earnings lower than $60,000 and assets less than $100,000 are not required to make a parental contribution toward the cost of education.
For students coming from families with calculated total incomes of less than $60,000 annually and typical assets, parents are not expected to contribute to the cost of attendance. For students coming from families with calculated total incomes between $60,000 and $100,000 annually, Columbia offers a reduced parent contribution.
Families with total parent earnings less than $60,000 and assets of less than $100,000 are not required to make a parental contribution toward the cost of education.
Free tuition for students coming from families making less than $100,000 and possessing typical assets.
Students from families with incomes below $65,000 are not expected to contribute toward the cost of attending Harvard College. Families with incomes between $65,000 and $150,000 will contribute from 0% to 10% of income, depending on individual circumstances. Families at all income levels who have significant assets must pay more than families with less assets.
Students from families with incomes below $40,000 will generally pay nothing toward the cost of attending UPenn. Most students whose parents make less than $180,000 receive some type of financial aid.
Students from families with incomes $120,000 or less will have free tuition at Princeton. Families that make $65,000 also qualify for free room and board.
For parents with incomes of $125,000 or less and typical assets for that income, the expected parental contribution at Stanford is low enough that need-based scholarships, federal and state grants, and outside scholarship funds covers all of tuition.
Stanford expects no contribution towards educational costs from parents with annual incomes below $65,000.
Families with income less than $65,000 with typical assets are not expected to make any financial contribution towards their child’s education. Families earning between $65,000 and $200,000 will contribute a percentage of their yearly income, on a sliding scale that begins at 1% just above $65,000 and moves toward 20% at the $200,000 level.
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