Students and University officials have recently scrutinized the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in response to an Oct. 17 New York Times article about FAFSA’s inability to accommodate students with same-sex parents and students who are no longer receiving financial support from their parents.
I’ve always cheered for Stanford. Consider me as being part of the “Red Zone” of Stanford life in general. I love this institution, so I’ve always trusted its decisions in the past — whether academic, athletic or administrative. Yet it is precisely because I love Stanford that I find myself cheering against it for the first time in my academic career.
Yesterday, Stanford submitted its proposal to the New York City Economic Development Corporation to build StanfordNYC, a $2.5 billion campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City. Let me say that again: $2.5 billion. That is more than double the initial estimate Stanford put forth a few weeks ago. Stanford wants to spend the equivalent of 15 percent of its endowment on a New York campus designed to “become a hub of technological innovation and entrepreneurship in the United States.” I don’t know if President Hennessy has checked recently, but we seem to already have that goal firmly established in the 94305 ZIP code.
The University projects it will collect $296.5 million in undergraduate student fees for the 2011-12 academic year, reflecting a 3.8 percent increase over last year, and will award $148.9 million in undergraduate financial aid, a 1.5 percent increase over 2010-11.
Congress’s Aug. 2 approval of a last-minute debt ceiling increase marked the beginning of at least a week of instability in the U.S. economy, which included Standard & Poor’s (S&P) downgrading the country’s credit rating, volatility in the stock markets and the Federal Reserve Bank’s announcement that it will maintain low federal interest rates. American economists, including those at Stanford, have a variety of theories as to how the situation came to be, as well as how it will play out.
In response to the U.S. Congress’s 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) mandating that the cost of college attendance be publicly available information, the U.S. Department of Education recently launched a website that publishes a “college transparency and affordability” list for information on tuition and net prices at postsecondary institutions.
We see them in our classrooms and cultural shows, in our labs and on our sports teams. They are often distinguished by a strange accent, a distinct garb, a new perspective in a classroom discussion, or even by a modest “eh” at the end of a sentence. Stanford’s international undergraduate students add inestimably to campus culture, talent and diversity.
The rising cost of higher education is one of the few features of American economic life to remain constant over the last few decades. Since 1978, the inflation-adjusted cost of college tuition has increased 650 percent; here at Stanford, the cost of tuition and room and board now stands at $52,341 per year. Despite many universities’ (including Stanford’s) efforts to increase need-based financial aid, the dramatic rise in the cost of education has left the average college senior with nearly $25,000 in debt