Attend Harvard on a budget

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A new financial aid program at Harvard University is going to make the school more affordable, even for families considered affluent. It is being reported that Harvard officials will spend $22 million more per year on financial aid that will mostly help middle-class and upper-middle-class students. (Families earning under $60,000 are already getting free tuition thanks to a $35 billion endowment.)

Under the new plan, grants will be replacing loans from the school. Families with incomes between $60,000 and $120,000 will pay only a set percentage of their income toward tuition, up to 10%. Families with incomes between $120,000 and $180,000 will pay 10% of their income toward tuition. Home equity will not be factored into the calculation.

Full tuition and expenses at Harvard currently total $45,620, and school officials feared that price tag was scaring off many potential applicants.
With the reputation Harvard enjoys, I hardly think that they lack a highly qualified pool of applicants from which to choose their students. However, the new plan is being promoted as one that will help students fully participate in the college experience, rather than having about half of the students forced to work part-time jobs to help pay for school.

Note to Harvard administrators: Part-time jobs aren't all bad. They teach responsibility and work ethic, and students who are financially invested in their own education might be even more committed to getting the most out of college.

Forensic accountant Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations through her company, Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners honored Tracy as the 2007 winner of the prestigious Hubbard Award and her first book, Essentials of Corporate Fraud, will be on bookshelves in March 2008.
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