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Campus community reacts to Princeton’s decision to expand financial aid

The program’s family income limit will be highest in the Ivy League

<h6>José Pablo Fernández García / The Daily Princetonian</h6>
José Pablo Fernández García / The Daily Princetonian

Last Thursday, the University announced a new expansion of the financial aid program, set to begin in Fall 2023. Under this program, most families making up to a total of $100,000 will be eligible to receive assistance covering the entire cost of a student’s expenses at Princeton. The University will also eliminate the student contribution — $3,500 that aid-receiving students are currently expected to contribute themselves.

Under this program, Princeton will have the highest family income limit for full financial assistance in the Ivy League. Before 2019, all Ivy League schools had family income limits in the $60,000–$66,000 per year range. In 2019, Yale raised its income limit from $65,000 to $75,000, which took effect beginning in the 2020–2021 school year. Harvard made the same change in March 2022, and this change now applies to Harvard’s Class of 2026.

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Almost a year prior to Princeton’s change in policy, in October 2021, Yale eliminated the student contribution for students “at the highest level of financial need.” In 2019, Princeton reduced the expected student contribution from $5,500 down to the current $3,500, which marked the last change to the requirement prior to the decision last week to eliminate it entirely.

“We are thrilled that Princeton continues to leverage its resources to be a leader in college access and are excited that a broader population of students will be empowered to make a college decision free of financial factors,” Ashlee Shaw, the Scholars Institute Fellows Program’s (SIFP) Associate Director for Programs for Access & Inclusion told The Daily Princetonian.

She noted that the elimination of the student contribution was especially beneficial to first-generation, low income (FLI) students.

“We are particularly pleased to see that the student contribution will now be eliminated and that students will have an increased allowance for necessities like books and other personal costs,” Shaw continued. “We hope that this will alleviate some of the financial pressure on our FLI students and allow them to more fully focus on pursuing their own academic, professional, and social goals." 

Students echoed similar sentiments, but also called on the University to continue to expand access to aid.

“I think it's an important step towards making education much more accessible for people of all different backgrounds,” said Talia Czuchlewski ’26. “It would be amazing to see further steps continue to be made and the limit for who gets full financial aid to continue to be raised.”

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Laura Reyes ’25 expressed support for the new policy. “I think that's a great idea, to let more people come to school with less burden on finances and things like that," said Reyes.

Gianmarco Miranda Bueno ’25 noted doubts, especially when it comes to how the policy will impact international students, and is looking forward to further clarification from the University.

“Like last year, if you earn under $65,000, you're supposed to not pay anything. However, I think it varies a lot for international students and that ends up not being true. So now with this news — with them moving the number to $100,000 — my main concern is, is it still gonna apply to us as well?” he said.

Staff News Writer Janny Eng contributed reporting to this article.

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Laura Robertson is a staff News writer for the ‘Prince.’ She can be reached at lr15@princeton.edu.

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