Harvard — whose $34.9-billion endowment is the largest of any university — already offered one of the most generous aid programs for low-income students of any private college, asking nothing from parents earning under $60,000.
But its announcement Monday, the latest of several recently by elite colleges concerning financial aid, reflects a shift toward making top schools more affordable to middle- and even upper-middle-class families. Harvard admits its full list price of $45,620, while comparable to other elite private universities, is a burden to all but the most wealthy.
The school will now pump more than $20 million in new aid to a group that extends beyond the 90th percentile nationally in income. Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust called the commitment "a response to the enormous stress that a particular group of families feel about the cost of higher education."
Good for them.