HFAI, Myth Or Fact, Is It Real????????

<p>I have heard it from everyone, my teachers, counselors, coworkers, even newletters from community organizations and homeowner groups. Harvard will pay for your Undergraduate education if your family makes below $40,000, and significantly reduce the cost to attend if your family makes between $40,000-$60,000.</p>

<p>But the thing is, this program is meeting a lot of skepticism. Some people think they will be forced to do 20 hours a week or forced into full time summer work. Others think that loans will be in the works and not grants. Still yet, others say this will do nothing to increase socioeconomic diversity.</p>

<p>How will Harvard know that your family makes below this amount if they are supposed to be need blind. Furthermore, it has been the case for a while that a typical applicant from Pennsylvania or Jersey who is NOT A LEGACY, NOT A ATHLETIC RECRUIT, and NOT AN URM, but is poor has no way to compete with the hundreds of upper middle class kids who can afford to do it all.</p>

<p>It looks like Harvard needs ways to advocate for the poor and truly discern those whose opportunities where limited. NOW WE ALL KNOW THAT IF A KID GOES TO AN INNER CITY SCHOOL with high poverty and violence rates that he will get beneficial treatment. But how about the lonely Joe Schmo who goes to a school that is suburban or rural or who goes to an inner city school thats not great but is not a warzone neither. How will Joe Schmo with an SAT of 1450 get a chance when Johnathen Finch III has a 1590 (but lives in a super rich area). Lets face it Harvard has 80% of the student body in the top half of the income bracket in the country.</p>

<p>They know you make below 40K because you send in a CSS profile. </p>

<p>Also, they can discern you from more affluent applicants by your school profile, whether or not you attach a fee waiver, and by your parent's profiles.</p>

<p>I do agree, though, that sometimes lower class whites get the short end of the stick just because they're white.</p>

<p>harvard is tough for all of us in some way, we just have to make the most of what we can.</p>

<p>The Harvard Financial Aid Initiative is a new program that seeks to identify talented students who have overcome financial difficulties. If your parents make less than $40,000, your parents will no longer have a parental contribution. If your parents make between $40,000 and $60,000 a year, there is a reduced contribution than what was expected before. There is a student contribution of $3,650 that is required of everyone at the college.</p>

<p>There is an increase in students who do qualify for HFAI; approximately 300+ students in this year's freshman class qualify under HFAI, which was about a 28% increase from a year before. </p>

<p>Harvard does know that its economic diversity isn't the greatest. This is why it is taking steps to correct it.</p>

<p>I DO LIKE THE IDEA THOUGH of HFAI becuase college is fast losing its once held postion as the primary vessel of social mobility. If every student is upper middle class or rich then that leaves half of the population away in the dust not to enjoy the fruits of a Harvard education. </p>

<p>But conversely, I am tired of giving a certain group an edge in admissions, i would rather see a more or less meritocracy where diversity in ideas and culture is valued but not excessively or nominally pursued. I like the idea that Socioeconomic affirmative action is beginning to take shape and hopefully legacy status should wane as a result. </p>

<p>Also i hope Affirmative Action for URMS wans as Socioeconomic affirmative action increase, because in the end 65% of the poor are URMs so invariably by supporting all the poor you will increase URM representation, although not to the level that AA does. BUT IS HFAI ENOUGH.</p>

<p>No, you do not have to work 20 hours a week. 20 hours a week is the max you legally can work as a student, and I don't know anyone who does that, at least regularly. Many people may not work at all, even those on HFAI. No, you will not have to take out more loans. What HFAI does is Harvard gives you more grants. The class of 2005 graduated with an average loan of $8,000- for all 4 years. I believe the national average is around $20,000. Regardless of the national average, I know that Harvard is below the national average. </p>

<p>Need blind means that admissions and financial aid are separate. Of course financial aid knows how much you make, or else they couldn't give you any.... need blind means admissions, however, don't know, or at least don't receive your financial info. from the FAFSA and the CSS Profile.</p>

<p>As CCers, you guys should know about the Academic Index. Dean Fitzsimmons explicitly mentioned that the Academic Index HAS NOT SUFFERED AT ALL with the implementation of the HFAI program. Remember that Harvard College admissions DOES NOT know if the student is HFAI-qualified; they just know what kind of background they're from, but after that, they're speculating.</p>

<p>How about a five person family that has recently had to go on a around 40000 income, but because the change is more recent, did not apply for a fee waiver and goes to a suburban high school that is decent but not really that great.</p>

<p>That sucks for them...</p>

<p>Write the office is all I can say.</p>

<p>What about Yale and Princeton, are they going to leave the poor behind?</p>

<p>As stated on the admissions website, if the applicant needs a fee waiver, he/she just has to have his/her counselor write a note and send it with the regular application.</p>

<p>"What about Yale and Princeton, are they going to leave the poor behind?"</p>

<p>the truth is, harvard and yale are still enacting incremental aid reforms to catch up with princeton's monumental no-loan move in 2001. see the following article from today's yale daily news:</p>

<p><a href="http://www.yaledailynews.com/article.asp?AID=30907%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.yaledailynews.com/article.asp?AID=30907&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Yale's financial aid policies are among the most generous in the nation and lag only slightly behind Princeton's, which are the most generous in the country, [Yale President Rick] Levin said.</p>

<p>"We think we have a very strong financial aid program," he said. "It's competitive with virtually every school in the country, just a shade behind one or two of our peer institutions."</p>

<p>But Hugh Baran '09 said he thinks Yale trails significantly behind Princeton in the area of financial aid.</p>

<p>Actually, in a survey of graduates, Yale had the highest proportion of of persons with families in the <$30,000 range. Princeton read 0%, which I found strange. I think that the survey may have been fudged or just way too random.</p>

<p>What about students whose parents make more than 60,000 a year? Are they not eligible for financial aid whatsoever?</p>

<p>The average income of students receiving aid is high, like $90,000 or so. So, I think that parents who make more than 60K a year are eligible.</p>

<p>Good, cuz I was starting to get a little worried.</p>

<p>it is indeed REAL
my family makes less than $40,000 per year
my sister goes to harvard, and they have given her a free ride

<p>wow thats great. Are you a URM? I really need this app to pull through for me. Watch them accept a rich minority over me lol.</p>

<p>What do you consider a rich minority? More than 60,000 a year?</p>

<p>lol, if your family makes over 40k a year I consider you rich lol. Jk The thing is that my family of 3 lives off of 17k a year, and is pretty comfortable. I mean, we'd like to have a nice car, good clothes, etc. but I feel like I have everything I really need. If for some reason I need to spend some money for a trip or something, then my mom's good credit (lol how ironic, a poor minority with good credit lol) backs me up. I mean these people that earn like 50k or more a year, for just a few individuals, are curious to me. What do they spend their money on? That would be a surplus of around 30k a year to my family and I. Its probably because Ive grown accustomed to my humble life, and even though we arent that wealthy, we have what is necessary. Id rather be rich in family values, culture and perseverance to improve my life, rather than be another wealthy individual stuck at a boarding school because my parents are too busy vacationing in Bora Bora.</p>