Student parent tuition guarantees

Students and parents:

Colleges with large per student endowments, such as the Ivy League and similar schools, offer full or partial financial aid to families under a certain household income. These “tuition guarantees” are generally for families who have incomes below $200,000. The policies are all over the map, but I will list the schools that are the most well known.

Schools listed below.


Harvard: If your family’s income is less than $65,000, you’ll pay nothing. For families who earn between $65,000 and $150,000, the expected contribution is between zero and ten percent of your annual income. Families who earn more than $150,000 may still qualify for financial aid. Click the link and scroll all the way down the page for details.


Yale does not expect students to take out loans. Instead, Yale financial aid awards includes a Yale Scholarship, a parent contribution, and a small student contribution.
Families whose total gross income is less than $75,000 (with typical assets) are not expected to make a financial contribution towards their child’s Yale education.
Families earning between $75,000 and $200,000 (with typical assets) contribute a percentage of their yearly income towards their child’s Yale education, on a sliding scale that begins at 1% and moves toward 20%.
There is no income cutoff for financial aid awards. Some families with over $200,000 in annual income receive need-based aid from Yale.


Princeton: “Students admitted to the Class of 2023 who applied for aid with family incomes up to $160,000 typically pay no tuition. For families making up to $65,000 per year, the aid package covers full tuition, residential college fee, room and board.”–IFHZXirEcOgQisMy_-lUsUcUOrNxc


Cornell guarantees that any family with a total income of less than $60,000, and total assets of less than $100,000 (including primary home equity), will have no parent contribution and no loans.

Columbia: “Parents with calculated incomes below $60,000 a year and typical assets are expected to contribute $0 towards their children’s Columbia education.
Parents with calculated incomes between $60,000 and $100,000 and typical assets have substantially lowered contribution requirements.
Parents earning over $100,000 can still qualify for significant financial aid from Columbia”

“Brown’s highest need students, coming from families with total incomes of less than $60,000 per year and assets less than $100,000, as determined by the Office of Financial Aid, will receive scholarship/grants equal to the amount of tuition, fees, room and meals.”

Penn: “A student from a typical family with income less than $90,000 will no longer pay tuition. A student from a typical family with income less than $40,000 will not be expected to pay tuition, room or board.”


“At Dartmouth, free tuition is provided for students from families with total incomes of $100,000 or less—and possessing typical assets. The financial aid offer will not include loans. Student and/or parent loans are available to help offset the family contribution and additional expenses such as health insurance or a computer.”


A Similar School that also offers significant aid: Bowdoin:

Washington & Lee
Grant Aid by Parent Income
Class of 2023 domestic U.S. students (university need-based grant application submitted)
Income Avg Fam Contribution % of Fam Receiving Award
$0-$29,999 $1,338 100%
$30,000-$59,999 $3,966 100%
$60,000-$89,999 $7,999 100%
$90,000-$119,000 $11,837 100%
$120,000-$149,999 $17,796 100%
$150,000-$189,999 $26,790 97%
$190,000 and above $33,518 97%
$250,000 and above $65,048 32%


Davidson College The Davidson Trust
Through The Davidson Trust, we meet 100 percent of your calculated financial need entirely through grants and student employment. Our financial aid packages do not include a loan component, but youhave the option of borrowing educational loans as a matter of personal choice.

Rice University’s undergraduate tuition for the 2019-20 school year will be $48,330. The total cost, including $14,140 for room and board and $782 in mandatory fees, will increase 3.1 percent to $63,252.
As in previous years, Rice will meet the full financial need of admitted students. Last fall, the university announced the enhancement of its financial aid program with The Rice Investment, an initiative that takes effect this fall for all undergraduate domestic students enrolled at Rice. It provides that: Students with family incomes below $65,000 will receive grant aid covering their full tuition, mandatory fees, room and board; students with family incomes between $65,000 and $130,000 will receive a grant covering at least full tuition; and students with family incomes between $130,000 and $200,000 will receive a grant covering at least half tuition. Those with family incomes higher than $200,000 may also receive aid based on a determination of financial need. The grants assume that families have typical assets for these income levels. As part of The Rice Investment, Rice will not require loans as part of financial aid requirements for students whose family income is below $200,000.

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