Stanford raises undergraduate tuition 3.5 percent, reaffirms financial aid commitment for 2014-15 school year

Under a financial aid program established in 2008, parents with incomes below $100,000 pay no tuition, and those with incomes below $60,000 pay no tuition or room and board charges.

The Stanford University Board of Trustees has approved a 3.5 percent increase in undergraduate tuition for the 2014-15 school year and has reaffirmed its commitment to keeping a Stanford education accessible and affordable through need-blind admission and a generous need-based financial aid program for students.

Total undergraduate charges will increase to $58,388 next year, including $44,184 for tuition, $13,631 for room and board, and $573 for a mandatory health fee.

Under Stanford's undergraduate financial aid program, parents with incomes below $100,000 pay no tuition, and those with incomes below $60,000 pay no tuition or room and board charges.

Stanford, which admits qualified students from across the country without regard to their ability to pay, has almost doubled its funding for need-based financial aid since 2007. Currently, 60 percent of students receive need-based or athletic scholarship aid from Stanford. A total of 70 percent receive scholarship support from either Stanford or external sources.

Thanks to substantial increases in financial aid, the average net price of a Stanford education – the average amount a student would pay to attend Stanford, taking financial aid into consideration and adjusting for inflation – has dropped 5 percent over the last decade. (The average net price is calculated by subtracting financial aid from tuition, mandatory fees and room and board.)

"Stanford and its trustees continue to reaffirm their commitment to keeping a Stanford education affordable and to preserving access for the brightest undergraduates, regardless of their financial circumstances," said Steven A. Denning, chair of the Board of Trustees.

The university's financial aid program helps ensure that most Stanford students graduate free of student loan debt.

Seventy-seven percent of the Class of 2013 graduated debt-free, said Karen Cooper, director of financial aid at Stanford. Of the 23 percent who graduated with some debt, the median amount was $13,000 – half of the seniors who graduated with debt owed more and half owed less.

In a new video, Making a Stanford Education Affordable, current students describe how financial aid opened the doors to a Stanford education.

When tuition rises, so does the financial aid provided to students, preserving affordability for admitted students throughout their undergraduate years.

"Stanford's commitment to affordability is matched by an extraordinary academic experience," said Richard H. Shaw, dean of undergraduate admission and financial aid at Stanford. "The university's caring and innovative faculty has recently developed a spectacular undergraduate curriculum that assuredly guarantees that those who chose to come to Stanford, in any field of study, will experience an unforgettable, world-class education."

Under a Stanford program established in 2008, typical parents making less than $60,000 a year are not expected to pay tuition or to contribute to the costs of room and board and other expenses. Typical families making less than $100,000 a year do not pay tuition. Families with significantly higher incomes may also qualify for assistance depending on their individual circumstances.

Students are expected to contribute at least $5,000 per year from their earnings during the summer and part-time campus jobs during the school year, but students are not expected to borrow to make the contribution. The student contribution will remain constant in 2014-15 for the third year in a row.

At its Feb. 10-11 meeting, trustees also approved a 3.5 percent tuition increase in 2014-15 for most graduate and professional programs. Tuition for first-year MBA students will rise 3.9 percent next year. Detailed information on graduate tuition is posted on the registrar's website.

Tuition provides half of Stanford's $1 billion general funds budget, which finances many of the core academic and administrative functions of the university. The general funds budget helps fund, among other things, the undergraduate financial aid program, faculty and staff salaries, student services and the purchase of materials for Stanford's two dozen libraries.

The Campus Health Service Fee, a mandatory fee for all students on the main campus, will increase to $191 per quarter in 2014-15, compared with $185 per quarter this year.

Lisa Lapin, University Communications: (650) 725-8396,