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Harvard University wants more people to know that undergraduate students from families with less than $60,000 annual income can to attend the prestigious university for free.
University president Lawrence H. Summers said this week that “when only 10 percent of the students in elite higher education come from families in the lower half of the income distribution, we are not doing enough. We are not doing enough in bringing elite higher education to the lower half of the income distribution.”
The sliding scale financial aid plan was announced in 2007. It dramatically reduced the tuition amount paid byfamilies with incomes below $180,000. Families with incomes between $180,000 and $120,000, with assets typical for these income levels, are asked to contribute 10 percent of their incomes.
According to the Harvard Gazette, for those families with incomes below $120,000, the parental contribution declines steadily from 10 percent, down to zero for those with incomes at $60,000 and below.
“In light of the challenges confronting families across America, we continue to expand our already generous financial aid program so that Harvard will remain accessible to families from all economic backgrounds,” said Michael D. Smith, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and John H. Finley Jr., Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences.