Students Whose Families Earn Below $100K Can Go to Princeton for Free

Students Whose Families Earn Below $100K Can Go to Princeton for Free

Mathey College, a residential college on campus. (Photo: Yakinodi via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0)

Among even the Ivy League schools, Princeton's rarified eating clubs and palatial residential colleges might seem inaccessible to lower- and middle-income students. While all elite schools can do more to place their educational experience within reach of these students, Princeton has just vastly expanded their need-based financial aid program. Now, families who earn under $100,000 will be able to send their talented kids to Princeton University for free.

The financial aid policy has been adjusted, effective starting Fall 2023. Previously, only families making less than $65,000 were given a complete aid package and an allowance for student's personal expenses. This is an income only twice the poverty level for a family of five. Contributing to tuition is out of reach for many families around that income level, and families making more struggle to meet rising tuition demands. With Princeton’s newly elevated threshold at $100,000, families making less will not pay a dime, and their children will receive $4,500 allowances for books and personal expenses such as moving and travel.

Over 1,500 students, a quarter of the student body, will benefit from this change. To its credit, Princeton did not stop there. The university also eliminated the $3,500 student contribution which was assessed annually for students at all income levels above a familial $65,000. Even wealthier families making as much as $300,000 will pay less. “One of Princeton’s defining values is our commitment to ensure that talented students from all backgrounds can not only afford a Princeton education but can flourish on our campus and in the world beyond it,” says University President Christopher L. Eisgruber. The University was the first in the nation to eliminate the loan component of financial aid packages in 2001, allowing many students to graduate with minimal or no debt.

As the Ivy League and other elite schools such as MIT, Stanford, and Caltech do not offer merit aid, financial aid boosts are critical to affordability. Princeton's latest announcement will surely make a difference to many current and future students. Hopefully more schools will follow suit in the future, ensuring that getting in—rather than paying—is the hard part.

Students from households earning $100,000 or less will attend Princeton University for free.

Students Whose Families Earn Below $100K Can Go to Princeton for Free

Princeton University Chapel. (Photo: Alexey Sergeev via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Financial aid is critical for children from low- and middle-income families who seek to attend higher education.

Princeton's Harvey S. Firestone Memorial Library

Princeton's Harvey S. Firestone Memorial Library. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0)

h/t: [NPR]

Related Articles:

84-Year-Old Woman Graduates College With a Diploma 67 Years in the Making

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel Pays off Student Debt of LA Art College Graduates

College in New Mexico Is Now Tuition-Free, Even if You’re a Part-Time Student

Jill Biden Returns to Her Community College Classroom as America’s First Working First Lady

Madeleine Muzdakis

Madeleine Muzdakis is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and a historian of early modern Britain & the Atlantic world. She holds a BA in History and Mathematics from Brown University and an MA in European & Russian Studies from Yale University. Madeleine has worked in archives and museums for years with a particular focus on photography and arts education. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, film photography, and studying law while cuddling with her cat Georgia.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content