The university logo is displayed at Stanford Stadium at Stanford University in Stanford, California, May 9, 2014. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach
(Reuters) - Stanford Law School this week became the second elite U.S. law school to commit to fully eliminating tuition payments for low-income students.
In an email Wednesday to students, Dean Jenny Martinez announced a series of new financial aid measures, including full-tuition scholarships for current and incoming students whose family income is below 150% of the poverty line. That works out to $41,625 for a family of four, or $20,385 for an individual.
The school will cover tuition payments for those who qualify starting next year. Annual tuition at Stanford Law is currently $64,350.
Yale Law School announced a similar program in February, with full-tuition scholarships for students with family incomes below the poverty line and whose assets are below $150,000. At the time, Yale Law Dean Heather Gerken said she hoped to spark a wider movement away from merit-based scholarships based on Law School Admission Test scores and undergraduate grades and toward need-based financial aid.
Martinez told students that Stanford Law’s financial aid improvements are a byproduct of the school’s effort to improve diversity, equity and inclusion at the school and the work of a special committee focused on financial access. Altogether, the school expects to spend an additional $3.1 million annually on the financial aid improvements, which is being generated through fundraising, the larger university, and resource reallocation, she wrote.