Dartmouth eliminates parental contribution for families making less than $75K a year

Dartmouth College will require no parental contribution to tuition from families making under $75,000 per year, the college announced Tuesday.

Dartmouth’s new financial-aid initiative — which also eliminates the need for student loans — follows on the heels of similar recent aid announcements by Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale.

Dartmouth announced it would increase its annual financial-aid budget by $10 million, to $71 million.

In contrast, Yale’s initiative will boost the University’s aid budget $24 million, to $86 million, while Harvard’s new aid policy will cost an additional $22 million per year, leaving Harvard’s aid budget at $120 million.

Additionally, Dartmouth will now admit international students without taking into account their ability to pay. Yale, Harvard and Princeton University already offer need-blind admissions for both domestic and international students.

Director of Student Financial Services Caesar Storlazzi said he is impressed with the many creative approaches being taken in financial-aid reforms, but emphasized that Yale’s policy extends farther than Dartmouth’s.

“Yale’s new financial-aid initiatives are more generous in that they apply to all families — not just ‘under $75K’ families — and that they are targeted at the calculation of the parent contribution and not at the amount of scholarship,” Storlazzi said.

In successive announcements in December and January, Harvard and Yale said they would require no parental contribution from families making less than $60,000 annually, while families making between $60,000 and $120,000 would pay up to 10 percent, on average, of their income toward tuition.

Harvard said it will allow families making between $120,000 and $180,000 to pay an average of 10 percent of income, while Yale extended the average 10-percent contribution to families making up to $200,000.

Both universities promised to eliminate the need for student loans.

Dartmouth said it will help pay for its growing aid budget by increasing the amount of money it spends from its endowment, to 6 percent of the endowment’s value.

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