Brown University is following in the footsteps of Harvard, Yale and Stanford, by reducing tuition fees for bright students from lower and middle income families. Under a new scheme announced Saturday, grants will replace loans for families that make less than $100,000 a year. Parents who earn less than $60,000 per year will not have to pay anything for their child's education at Brown. The new policy applies to both current students as well as future students. Under the new policy loans have been reduced and grants increased to all students receiving financial aid, regardless of family income.
The move is expected to address the increasing problem of college debt.Many students are so overburdened with debt when they pass out that repayment is almost impossible.Almost 30% to 35% of the undergraduate population comes from families earning less than $100,000 a year , and 15% to 20% from families earning less than $60,000. Households headed by persons age 45 to 54 had a median household income of $62,424 in 2006. This means that these colleges are now free for about half the American families who are likely to have college going children. Contributions from those earning between $60,000 to $100,000 are to be increased as per a formula. Since most of these universities have huge endowments, funding these schemes should not be much of a problem.