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If your family income is less than 60,000..

jhkoreacanadajhkoreacanada Registered User Posts: 65 Junior Member
edited September 2010 in Harvard University
I am a Canadian citizen whose family income is less than 60,000 dollars. I was wondering whether Harvard gives a "full" financial aid to anyone who simply meets this criteria. So would owning a 400,000 dollar building would alter their decision in giving a full financial aid?
Post edited by jhkoreacanada on

Replies to: If your family income is less than 60,000..

  • xjayzxjayz Registered User Posts: 1,654 Senior Member
    Yes. It's not a hard-and-fast rule. All sources of income are considered when financial aid officers create a financial aid package for your family. Obviously, the fact that your parents own a $400,000 building puts them in a different situation (e.g., it is a source of income by renting, etc.) than a family that truly makes less than $60,000.
  • meadwebmeadweb Registered User Posts: 162 Junior Member
    I think it's so unfair that families that makes 60,000 get full rides. I consider that well-off.

    I come from a family that makes around 27,000 a year with five dependents..and even though it's rough sometimes, we manage. If it was up to me, I'd make it around less than 35,000 would get a full ride.

    But, that's just me.
  • newparentnewparent - Posts: 271 Junior Member
    H aid pacakage is very generous and is within the princeton calculator projections. If you are worried about aid, just appply and do not think about aid as they will be very generous if admitted.
  • xjayzxjayz Registered User Posts: 1,654 Senior Member
    The "real median household income" in the United States was $46,326 in 2005. Therefore, increasing the HFAI threshold to less than $60,000 a year instead of less than $40,000 a year is pretty generous on Harvard's part.
  • awaiting-collegeawaiting-college . Posts: 225 Junior Member

    I can not agree with your comment at all. I think that it is excellent that Harvard is need-blind and can offer so many families free tuition. The income level of $60,000 is quite low - that is almost below the poverty line - so those families could never afford to send their children to college otherwise. I could not even imagine being in such a situation where you do not have food to eat each night, attend public school, are sufficient in armed weapons, etc. Its good that Harvard is breaking this barrier and teaching students from terrible backgrounds.

    If anyone is complaining about free tuition, it should be me - afterall, my parents would have to pay FULL tuition for Harvard just because we earn in excess of $350k a year. However, I am open-minded and want diversity among the student body, and want everyone to have the same opportunities that I have been presented with.
  • xjayzxjayz Registered User Posts: 1,654 Senior Member
    awaiting-college: That was really uncalled for. If your parents make in excess of $350,000 a year, you are pretty well of. Think about all the other expenses you'll incur in college! The furnishings for your dorm room, travel with your friends, subletting an apartment, etc. -- these are luxuries that students on significant financial aid cannot afford.

    Just because meadweb is on full financial aid doesn't mean that everything is paid for. There's still a student contribution of $2,200 during term-time and $2,000 over the summer. You wouldn't have to worry about that since, well, your parents are paying for it. $4,400+ over a year is a lot of money for a college student, especially since a lot of that money does goes toward normal expenses to "keep up with the Joneses," so to speak.

    Please think about the implications of your words before you pass judgments like that.
  • tokenadulttokenadult Registered User Posts: 17,472
    Harvard made careful study a few years ago of how many purely financial barriers still exist against college attendance.

    "One 2004 study showed that just 20 percent of students whose families are in the bottom 25 percent of income attended a four-year college within two years of graduating high school. By contrast, 75 percent of children from families whose income is in the top 25 percent attended college."

    "At highly selective institutions like those in the Ivy League, the statistics are even worse. At the 146 most competitive and selective institutions, just 3 percent of students come from families whose incomes are in the lowest 25 percent, compared with 74 percent from families in the top quarter."


    Now some people might comment that that simply means that there are more college-able young people growing up in high-income families than in low-income families, and, sadly, that is correct. But, outrageously, several close looks at data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth and other data sets have shown that FOR THE SAME ABILITY LEVEL students from high-income families are as much as nine times more likely to attend college than students from low-income families. If college is to be a place where students develop their abilities and increase their likelihood of making a positive difference in society, there is a general social benefit in making sure all academically able students are also financially able to attend college.

    Harvard was prompted to do the right thing by a famous 2003 editorial, "Needed: Affirmative Action for the Poor" by Laura D'Andrea Tyson, a former economic advisor to President Clinton and a professor of economics. Princeton responded to these concerns very rapidly, and Harvard never lets itself be outdone by Princeton, so under Harvard University President Larry Summers, another economist, Harvard revised its financial aid policies to better reflect reality.

    To answer the OP's question, yes, there is a financial aid difference between a family with a moderate income ($60,000 per year is near the United States median FAMILY income) and a lot of property and another family with the same income but many fewer assets. The Harvard financial aid formulas attempt to take into account a family's reasonable ability to pay list price. As Harvard admission officers are fond of pointing out, the actual price of providing a Harvard undergraduate education to any student is higher than the list price of tuition, because Harvard also has income from endowment funds (illustrating how important property ownership is to financial resources) and from research grants and other third-party revenues. So, in a sense, ALL Harvard students receive financial aid for their studies.
  • meadwebmeadweb Registered User Posts: 162 Junior Member
    awaiting-college - I can't believe you just said that. Aww poor baby, 350k a year sure isn't enough to help contrubute towards your college education! 60k is NOT "almost below the poverty line."
  • HannaHanna Registered User Posts: 14,202 Senior Member
    "The income level of $60,000 is quite low - that is almost below the poverty line"

    Not unless there are 12 kids in the family and they live in Alaska. For a family of 4 in Massachusetts, try $20,000.

  • hotpiece101hotpiece101 Registered User Posts: 4,042 Senior Member

    i don't understand why you think it's unfair that families who make $60,000 get a full-ride. although $60,000 may seem like a lot coming from your situation, it doesn't to me (granted i'm coming from a very different perspective/income level, so...). it's not like harvard is hurting you by giving them financial aid. and i mean, on a $60,000 income, it would break the bank to try to pay for harvard. as a student there, i know that there are a ton of hidden costs (xjayz is so right about "keeping up with the joneses").

    however, i do commend you for making things work in your life with your income level and family.

    happy new year,
  • meadwebmeadweb Registered User Posts: 162 Junior Member
    hotpiece - yes, you're right. It has to do with my own personal situation. I just feel that if the parents plan ahead enough, their kid(s) can go to college with minimal loans with that kind of income.

    I know regardless of where I end up going, the tuition plus personal expense will be all on me. That's why I have my fingers crossed for Harvard, Yale, Penn, Dartmouth and Williams (ahh!)
  • epsilon9090epsilon9090 Registered User Posts: 787 Member
    Anyone who makes over 150 with less than 5 dependents can shove it as far as I'm concerned. Pay full tuition, because you should.
  • j07j07 Registered User Posts: 2,139 Senior Member
    I think this is a great policy. I would never dream of attending Harvard if I hadn't known about the financial aid as such. My situation is kind of weird though: until 2005, my family had never made more than about 45k a year. Then all of a sudden my dad gets this wonderful new job and he's making around 75k now! I know that's NOTHING compared to the aforementioned 350k, but it's a lot better for us. It does however change the financial aid I would have gotten...but apparently if your family income is below 80k the EFC is "drastically reduced."
  • MetricMetric Registered User Posts: 135 Junior Member
    Even government dictated poverty levels are very debatable. There is a general trend of goods becoming more expensive and an increase in wages which make living situations for people who are even not technically poor dealing with much hardship financially. The middle class in general is hurt because many of the tax brackets that were set decades ago to cover the wealthy not hurt those in upper - lower middle class income brackets. There are a lot more factors involved than simply incomes.
  • tokenadulttokenadult Registered User Posts: 17,472
    For more than most of you may want to read about financial aid determinations, see

    Primer on Economics for Financial Aid Professionals
This discussion has been closed.