This is surprising and encouraging news. Stanford University has done away with tuition for any student whose family makes less than US $100,000 a year. According to Wikipedia, that’s about 85% of all American households. From the article:
The university is making the change in the wake of published reports last month that its endowment had grown almost 22 percent last year, to $17.1 billion. That sum had begun to attract attention from lawmakers who want wealthy institutions to do more to reduce tuition costs.
$17 billion. Wow. The American college system is different from Canada’s in this respect. Giving to your alma mater seems far more common south of the border. Is that accurate, do you think?
Stanford is also getting rid of room and board costs for students whose families earn less than US $60,000. This seems like a fantastic, radical move, considering a year’s tuition is currently about US $35,000 a year. Incidentally, that figure still buys you tuition and room and board for four years at Canada’s top comprehensive university (PDF).
I expect this will make the application process more meritocratic, and seriously reduce the crippling debt that so many students graduate with. Hopefully other American schools will follow suit.