As part of Harvard University’s new initiative to reach out to students from low and moderate-income families, households earning less than $40,000 will no longer be required to make any payments towards tuition or room and board.

Harvard plans to reach out to students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds to make them aware of its financial aid resources. In addition to waiving tuition and room and board, the following will also be waived for these students and applicants:

  • application fees
  • travel for campus visits
  • books
  • winter clothing
  • medical care
  • other extraordinary expenses

Currently, two-thirds of Harvard students receive some form of financial aid and just under $110 million in aid was awarded last year by the university.


We certainly support and herald this initiative and it does represent a big commitment from Harvard. It also covers additional costs that low and moderate-income students have had to pay for out of their own pockets. Nonetheless, Harvard has had a long history of supporting its low and moderate-income students and this initiative is more about changing the perception of its policies than the reality of the school’s past generosity.