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Todd Benson, Housing & Dining Services (650) 723-1400; email:

John C. Bravman, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (650) 725-8815;email:

Graduate housing stipend program expanded

Stanford President John Hennessy has decided to expand the housing stipend program for graduate students -- adding as much as $190,000 to the initial $1 million -- in order to make the program available to more students.

Under the program first announced in January, the university set aside $1 million to assist students with their housing costs. Nearly 800 eligible students applied to a lottery designed to select the participants in the program. The first 168 students selected through the housing stipend lottery were named last week.

The expansion of the program will not affect any students who choose to participate in the second half of the lottery, which will be carried out as scheduled. Any of the remaining eligible students, however, can decide to opt for a guaranteed $100 monthly stipend rather than compete for the larger amount -- $250 per month -- made available through the lottery.

Hennessy said he made the decision to expand the program after hearing from a number of graduate students who said they would prefer a guaranteed stipend -- even if it were smaller -- than take the chance of losing the lottery.

"I felt the students made a good case," Hennessy said. "We had seriously considered the more broad-based approach last fall, but agreed to try the lottery approach at the suggestion of the Graduate Housing Advisory Committee. After hearing from many students, we realized it would be better to let the eligible students choose for themselves. Those who wish to remain in the lottery can compete for the larger amount. But any eligible student who has already applied is guaranteed the $100 monthly contribution from the university."

Under the modified plan, eligible students with housing priority years remaining who applied for the housing stipend program can choose either to:  

* Continue to participate in a lottery to receive a $250-per-month stipend. To preserve the original lottery program and ensure the same odds for those students deciding to remain in the lottery during the second round, approximately 30 percent of those choosing to remain will be selected for the $250 per month subsidy. 


* Withdraw from the lottery and receive a guaranteed housing stipend of $100 per month, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements (such as being registered during each quarter they receive a stipend, living in the Bay Area, etc.).

The expanded program means that the University could add as much as $190,000 more to the $1 million previously set aside, increasing the total amount to nearly $1.2 million. In addition to presidential funds, Residential and Dining Enterprises also has identified funds for the program. The total number of students served by the housing stipend program could increase from 333 to well over 700 under the new guidelines.

Further information regarding the eligibility requirements for the stipend is available on the Web at



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