## Friday, March 31, 2006

### Harvard will be free for the "poor"

Yesterday, the officials announced that the Harvard students whose families earn below $60,000 a year, which includes 1/4 of the current students, won't have to pay the tuition which will be$43,655 for the next year. See The Crimson.

Let me admit that - probably because I come from a poor environment from all viewpoints and from a country where it is very hard to advocate any tuition, even 16 years after the collapse of communism - this tuition seems gigantic to me and the millionaires are the only ones whom I would advise to pay it - despite my significant respect for the school. I don't believe that one year of Harvard education is worth $43,655; however, the value of the degree may be high because of the significant prestige of the university (and the known fact that those who get here are likely to be extremely good). If you want to compare: the previous Harvard cutoff was$40,000 instead of the current $60,000. UPenn's figure is$50,000 while Yale and Stanford have $45,000. Others can't compete at all and Harvard is simply the best school to support smart young students from the "poor" families. I used the quotation marks for the word "poor" because$60,000 is actually 1.36 times higher than the median U.S. household income in 2004.