Harvard announced earlier this week an expanded program of financial support for undergraduate students. The program was summarized by Inside Higher Education as follows:
- Create a “0 to 10 percent standard” under which students from families with incomes up to $60,000 will not be expected to make a family contribution, those with incomes greater than $60,000 and up to $120,000 will be paying a sliding scale of 0 to 10 percent of their income, and those from $120,000 up to $180,000 will pay 10 percent of income. Those in the under-$60,000 bracket are continuing an earlier aid initiative by the university, but those in the other brackets will see substantial reductions in expected family contributions.
- Loans will be eliminated from all aid packages and replaced with grants.
- Home equity will be eliminated from calculations of family wealth, a move that is expected to result in the university spending more than $2.5 million a year extra in aid.
I anticipate that you will see expanded aid programs at other top colleges as the elite schools compete to attract a wider range of the middle class.