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Princeton to offer full ride for families making up to $100,000

MoneyWatch: Debt cancellation and inflation
MoneyWatch: Debt cancellation and inflation 06:09

Getting in remains the hardest part, but footing the bill to go to Princeton University just got a lot easier.

The Ivy League school is now offering a full ride to undergraduates from families earning up to $100,000 a year, and expects more than a quarter of its undergraduates will not pay anything for tuition, room and board, Princeton announced Thursday. 

Princeton had previously given the same deal to families earning less than $65,000 a year, with the financial assistance taking effect in the fall of 2023 and expected to include roughly 1,500 students. 

While most families earning up a $100,000 will pay nothing, many with income in the six figures will also get help, including those with several kids in college, according to Princeton. The university was the first in the U.S. to eliminate loans from its financial aid packages, a step taken in 2001, it noted. 

"We know that Princeton can achieve its research, teaching and service goals only if it attracts the best talent from throughout society. With that in mind we are further enhancing our need-based financial aid program," Christopher Eisgruber, president of the university, said in a videotaped announcement. 

The estimated annual cost of attending Princeton without financial aid is $79,540 and includes tuition, room, board and miscellaneous expenses, according to the school, which resides in Princeton, New Jersey.

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Princeton is also rescinding a policy in which students receiving financial aid are required to contribute $3,500 a year toward the cost of books and other expenses.

Princeton's efforts are backed by an endowment that enjoyed a 47% investment return for the year ending June 30, increasing its overall value to $37.7 billion, according to the university.

Harvard, Stanford and Yale all tout grants covering costs for families making up to $75,000. 

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