Stanford: Free Tuition Being Offered To Middle-Class Smarty-Pants

Stanford University has prioritized smarts over wealth. It’s giving middle-class kids a chance to go to the prestigious college for free. That’s right — $0.

Families who make less than $125,000 a year can send their bright kids to Stanford without paying a dime. For people even poorer than that, the dream is still possible – they’ll get free tuition and free room and board, CNN Money reported.

A Stanford education typically costs about $65,000 a year.

This offer isn’t completely new – Stanford has just raised its income limits. Before, gratis tuition went to kids who came from families making less than $100,000 and $60,000, respectively.

That’s because the university cares more that their students have brains than benjamins, the provost, John Etchemendy, explained.

“Our highest priority is that Stanford remain affordable and accessible to the most talented students, regardless of their financial circumstances.”

Though generous, the tuition offer likely won’t be made to too many applicants – after all, it’s pretty hard to get in. Only 5 percent of Stanford applicants even get through the door.

Even more admirable, Stanford uses the tuition from the rich — and they enroll plenty of those — to help pay for the free tuition of the less fortunate, Vox added. The college is still a pretty wealthy one; the median family income is about $125,000.

But those less fortunate won’t be getting a completely free ride. The college will require these students to pay $5,000 of their own money every year towards their education. Still, the college is much more accepting of low- and middle-class students than the federal government.

Vox broke it down: 14 percent of freshman and 41 percent of ungrads got Pell Grants in 2012. This money is for even poorer families, with annual incomes of under $50,000.

[Photo Courtesy Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]