Where Students Can Snag a Fancy College Degree … for Free?

Where Students Can Snag a Fancy College Degree … for Free?

The only thing better than going to your dream school?

Going for free.

Last week, Stanford accepted 2,144 hopeful applicants to the Class of 2019—and announced that they were expanding their financial aid program to boot.

The university stated that tuition would now be totally free for students whose families earn under $125K a year. (The previous threshold was $100K.) Even sweeter, families earning less than $65K will be exempt from both tuition and room and board.

"Our highest priority is that Stanford remain affordable and accessible to the most talented students, regardless of their financial circumstances," Provost John Etchemendy said in a statement.

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With total student loans ballooning to $1.1 trillion this year, fighting student debt is more important than ever—and Stanford is leading the charge. In 2012, 71% of all students graduating from four-year colleges carried student debt. But at Stanford, just 23% of grads leave with loans.

Stanford isn’t alone in trying to make education more affordable for its students. At both Harvard and Yale, parents bringing in less than $65,000 do not have to contribute to tuition. And at Princeton, parents making less than $60,000 are covered for tuition and room and board.

While the cost of college has been increasing rapidly over the past few decades, perhaps higher education in America is finally starting to take a turn for the affordable—especially at the country's top-notch universities.

If you're a parent wondering how much your child's education might cost, get started with our What to Sock Away for College calculator.

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