Stanford to increase income threshold to qualify for free tuition, room and board

Feb. 3, 2021, 8:29 p.m.

Starting in the 2021-22 academic year, Stanford will waive tuition and room and board fees for students from families with a combined household income of $75,000 or less, a $10,000 increase from the current threshold, the Board of Trustees announced Wednesday.

Tuition will also remain flat for the 2021-22 academic year — the first time the University has frozen tuition in the last 10 years.

However, room and board charges will increase to $17,680 –– a 3.5% jump from this year’s fees –– to account for rising housing and dining costs. Including room and board, undergraduate charges for the upcoming year will increase from $73,425 to $74,029.

Stanford’s tuition has increased at an average rate of 3.25% from 2010-2020, based on data from the registrar’s office. Last year, tuition increased by 4.9%, the highest year-over-year increase in the last 10 years.

Despite the cancellation of the University’s winter reopening plan and the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant in Santa Clara County, Stanford is still planning for a fully residential 2021-22 school year.  

Board of Trustees Chair Jeff Raikes ’80 told The Daily that the decisions were made in response to the additional stress placed on students and families during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the board was able to waive fees for more students thanks to growth in the need-based aid budget, which increases by 7% annually.

This decision “illustrates the University’s leadership and the board’s commitment to financial aid,” Raikes said.

Stanford is also waiving all summer earning requirements for students receiving need-based aid in the upcoming year. Raikes wrote in a press release that, along with the tuition freeze and change in financial aid eligibility, pausing earning requirements will preserve and expand the University’s “enduring commitment to need-based student financial aid.”

Graduate program tuitions will also remain flat, though some professional programs may choose to increase charges. Raikes said that details of specific program tuitions will be posted by the registrar’s office later this year.

Contact Benjamin Zaidel at bzaidel ‘at’

Benjamin Zaidel ’24 is a desk editor for the Daily interested in studying Bioengineering. A Los Angeles native, Benjamin believes that 68 degrees should count as sweater weather. Contact him at bzaidel 'at'

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