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Harvard is basically free for not-well-off kids?

Ash6277Ash6277 5 replies8 postsRegistered User New Member
edited April 2013 in Harvard University
I read on their website that parents don't have to contribute for their kid's education if their family income is less than $65,000. That's for American kids. And that's really cool. But I am an Indian citizen, and I aspire to go to Harvard, and my family isn't rich enough to support my $50,000 education a year. I They say on their website that they have the same financial aid for international students. But I still can't wrap my head around the fact that (if I get in) my college education will be free. Doesn't that make Harvard even more desirable? SO IS IT REALLY TRUE?
edited April 2013
98 replies
Post edited by Ash6277 on
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Replies to: Harvard is basically free for not-well-off kids?

  • MeIsHMMeIsHM 308 replies8 postsRegistered User Member
    Yes, that's true. However, you will have to work on-campus, and perhaps during summer break. You will pay ~$3,500 per year, none of which comes from your parents, but only from your work.
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  • DwightEisenhowerDwightEisenhower 1677 replies27 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    The above poster is correct. Your parents are expected to pay nothing but you will be expected to contribute a reasonable amount, as through term-time and/or summer jobs. Needless to say if your parents can pay the ~$3500 nothing's stopping them from doing so.
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  • gibbygibby 10528 replies246 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^^ To add to what MeIsHM and DwightEisenhower said.

    Part of every student's financial aid package is something called a "Term-Time Job" and "Student Contribution" from summer employment.

    Freshman year, those figures are about $2,500 for a Term-Time job and $1,500 for Student Contribution. A student's term-time job expectation and Student Contribution goes up about $1,000 each year during your sophomore, junior and senior years. So, even if your family makes under $65K per year, you would still owe the university about $4,000 to $7,000 per year.

    Many students from lower income families must take out a loan to cover the cost of a student's term-time job and Student Contribution. This is especially true for foreign students who are not allowed to work in the United States while they are attending school.
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  • etg2013etg2013 232 replies3 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    ^right on the money.
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  • Ash6277Ash6277 5 replies8 postsRegistered User New Member
    And that applies to non-US citizens too?
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  • gibbygibby 10528 replies246 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Yes, it applies to non-US citizens too.
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  • YungGuapYungGuap 18 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    I have a cousin whose family doesn't make a lot of guap. He got a full ride to Harvard.

    --YungGuap
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  • T26E4T26E4 23243 replies1031 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    He got a full ride
    This means rec'd a lot of Financial Aid due to his family's finances. Often, outsiders misconstrue this to mean Harvard awarded him with a full merit scholarship because he was some highly coveted superstar. That is not the case.
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  • YungGuapYungGuap 18 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    Nope. He rec'd a full ride.

    --YungGuap
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  • gibbygibby 10528 replies246 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I bet if you ask, part of your friend's financial aid package included a term-time job and student contribution from summer employment. As the student needs to work over the course of the year to earn money, the university's "free ride" did not include those items. It's a standard part of EVERY student's financial aid package. See: http://www.fao.fas.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k51861&pageid=icb.page246757
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  • T26E4T26E4 23243 replies1031 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Yung: He may indeed have a "full ride" -- perhaps it's from an outside scholarship. Harvard offers NO merit based scholarships (besides a few very obscure ones).
    Harvard has one of the best financial aid programs in the country with over sixty percent of undergraduates receiving some scholarship assistance. We work with each family to ensure access to the Harvard education students have worked so hard to secure. Applying for financial aid does not jeopardize a student's chance for admission. Indeed, the Admissions Committee may respond favorably to evidence that a candidate has overcome significant obstacles, financial or otherwise. All of Harvard's financial aid is awarded on the basis of demonstrated financial need - there are no academic, athletic or merit-based awards. Harvard meets the demonstrated need of every student, including international students, for all four years.

    Nonetheless, good for him!

    http://www.fao.fas.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k51861&tabgroupid=icb.tabgroup78441
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  • freefall770freefall770 8 replies0 postsRegistered User New Member
    To say that one will pay "$3500 a year" is misleading. After freshman year, there will be a $450-550 student contribution expected each semester, but the remaining expectation is Harvard's estimate of what you will be spending on cost of living and books. Thus, you don't actually pay Harvard that $2500. One can rely on library book copies and budgetting techniques to bring that $2500 expectation way down. Last semester I spent less than $100 dollars on the costs which that is estimated to cover. While you will probably need to work some over the summer, or at least take some grants or fellowships if you want to do research or unpaid internships, you shouldn't feel like you will necessarily have to work during the semester. I have worked 3 out of my 4 semesters on campus, but that was for the sake of starting my own savings.
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  • freefall770freefall770 8 replies0 postsRegistered User New Member
    Oh, and also, there are a ton of other reasons why Harvard is great for students who don't have strong economic background. For instance, there is a student events fund that students with full financial need can use to attend virtually any event on campus (concerts, performances, talks) for free. Additionally, if you want to study abroad (I am doing that this year) they will cover your full expenses. If you come from a situation where you cannot go home for holidays or summer, one can also almost always find a way of staying on campus--though it can get trickier over the summer.
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  • gibbygibby 10528 replies246 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^^ I guess it all depends on the courses you take. Many of my daughter's courses have required students to purchase "course packets" from the Coop (not available anywhere else) which include reading material, as well as homework and assessments. These course packets cost $150 to $200 per packet/per course. Although professors do put a few course packets on reserve at Lamont, there's never enough to go around, so "books" even when purchased as "very used" on Amazon have never been below $400 a semester for our family in the past three years. Count yourself vey lucky if you spend just $100 a semester on books!
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  • freefall770freefall770 8 replies0 postsRegistered User New Member
    Its inconvenient, but there are ways around course packet costs. Lamont Library has scanners open 24/7 on weekdays. If you can spare about an hour or two per class sometime early in the semester, you can go to Lamont and scan the reserve texts onto a flash drive. If you really need to have a paper copy, you can then print them out yourself on the science center computers for 5 cents a page. If the material isn't on reserve at Lamont and only at the coop, the coop has a policy where you can return most items within 3 days with the receipt for a full refund. Fortunately, my coursepacks are usually just collections of articles, so I can request the titles from the library's scan and deliver service to save time. If you prefer not to scan but are looking for a book which is highly in demand when on reserve, the Interlibrary Loan service will usually be willing to find you a copy to use from another library--though that isn't practical unless you have about two weeks to wait.
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  • DwightEisenhowerDwightEisenhower 1677 replies27 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    To say that one will pay "$3500 a year" is misleading. After freshman year, there will be a $450-550 student contribution expected each semester, but the remaining expectation is Harvard's estimate of what you will be spending on cost of living and books.

    And mandatory health insurance, if you don't have it. I believe there is a separate threshold under which health insurance is covered by financial aid, but it's lower than $65k.
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  • pstrettpstrett 15 replies0 postsRegistered User New Member
    OK people. If you aren't up to speed you have BAD school counselors!!! All IVY league gives a NEAR free ride if your paren(s) make under $60,000 AND you can get in. They require you to a campus job on top of it. ITS AN IVY LEAGUE education...apply is you have the SAT or ACT scores!!!!
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  • freefall770freefall770 8 replies0 postsRegistered User New Member
    Dwight, yeah, you're probably right. Insurance was covered for me, but my family was <$20K. I think that the package changes some if the student crosses the threshold for federal aid. They have a winter coat fund that I am pretty sure students become eligible for at that level. Eligibility for the student event fund might be the same way now that I think about it.
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  • maryamiftikharmaryamiftikhar 12 replies8 postsRegistered User New Member
    By the way, If somehow, you do not get any financial aid and still wish to study at Harvard, you should apply for international student loan which you can payback once you start earning according to their payback requirement. My cousin did this, now she's studying at Yale!
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  • Academic12Academic12 29 replies8 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I actually thought the threshold was higher than 65. The Ivies are not the only schools that do this. Lafayette, for example, a decent but not stellar school. If you make less than 75K, all your need will be met and there will be zero in loans. Under 100k and all your need will be met with an annual max loan amount of $3500. Good deal.
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