Thursday, December 15, 2011

Public University Increases Financial Aid as State Funds Decrease

We previously blogged over 3 years ago about predominantly private universities increasing their financial aid as a result of criticism over large, unspent endowments.  The financial landscape has changed significantly since then, effectively ending discussion (raised by Senator Grassley in a Senate Finance Committee hearing) about a possible mandatory annual payout of large university endowments to make education more affordable to more students.

Yesterday, the University of California, Berkeley, announced that it would provide more financial aid to students from middle-class families beginning next fall.  Families earning up to $140,000 a year will be expected to contribute a maximum of 15% of their annual income.  The New York Times article cited experts as stating that this was "the most significant such move by a public institution."  As we have discussed in prior blog posts, the article mentioned Harvard, Princeton and Yale offering similar aid to families with incomes up to $200,000.  The article discusses creative assistance programs being generated by universities throughout the country to meet the increasing challenge of families to finance education.


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