In an attempt to make college more affordable for middle-income students and their families, some schools in California are revising their scholarship policies, reports Silicon Valley Mercury News.
Currently, many schools throughout the state offer scholarships to students whose families earn less than $80,000 per year. However, California Assembly Speaker John Perez proposed that state schools provide need-based financial aid to students from families earning less than $150,000 per year. The University of California-Berkeley recently announced that it will offer scholarships to students whose annual family income is $140,000 or less.
In a potentially confusing turn of events, prestigious colleges such as Stanford University can sometimes end up being cheaper for middle-class students that state schools because of differences in how much money they can disperse in financial aid. The news source reports that Stanford is spending twice as much on financial aid and scholarships this year than it did in 2009.
"Our commitment to meet full need for continuing students has not changed," Karen Cooper, Stanford's director of financial aid, told the school's student newspaper, the Stanford Daily. "As costs go up, if a student’s need increases, their financial aid eligibility will also increase."
If you're filling out college applications, don't forget to apply for merit- or need-based financial aid like scholarships. These programs can help lower the cost of earning your degree.