Harvard University Offers Free Tuition For Low Income Families

Reinforcing its commitment to opportunity and excellence across the economic spectrum, Harvard announced a significant expansion of its 2004 financial aid initiative for low- and middle-income families. Beginning with the class admitted this week, parents in families with incomes of less than $60,000 will no longer be expected to contribute to the cost of their children attending Harvard. In addition, Harvard will reduce the contributions of families with incomes between $60,000 and $80,000.

The new income thresholds build on the program announced two years ago, which provided that families with incomes below $40,000 would not be expected to contribute to the cost of education, with a reduced contribution for families with incomes between $40,000 and $60,000. (See 2004 release) The number of students enrolled at Harvard from these income brackets increased by 24 percent for the class entering this past fall – the first full year of the program.

“There is no more important mission for Harvard and higher education than promoting equality of opportunity for all,” said President Lawrence H. Summers. “We are fortunate to have significant resources, and there is no better way to use them than to support families seeking to provide the best possible opportunities for their children. These increases in financial aid build on and extend our emphasis on recruiting students from low-income backgrounds, and send a clear signal to middle-class families who have all too often felt that Harvard and other leading universities are out of reach.”

“Since its inception two years ago, the financial aid initiative aimed at families with incomes below $40,000 has had an enormous impact in attracting students of all backgrounds to Harvard’s applicant pool,” said William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid. “The message that Harvard is open to all talented students continues to resonate and the momentum the program has created has encouraged students to consider colleges they had never imagined before.”

“Students who have benefited from the financial aid initiative are anxious to give back to the program by working with students who come from similar backgrounds,” Fitzsimmons said. “We hope that as we increase the number of students who benefit from the program, we will inspire students from every economic background to consider the full range of our nation’s colleges and universities.”

To find out more
about Harvard offering free tuition for families making less than 40,000 a year visit Harvard’s financial aid web site at:
http://www.fao.fas.harvard.edu/ or call the school’s financial aid office at (617) 495- 1581. EEO Office, Richmond, VA