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Tuition waiver expanded at one top university

Getting into Stanford University is incredibly difficult, but the cost of admission to one of the nation's most prestigious universities will be less of a hurdle for at least some of the class of 2019.

Of the 42,487 high school seniors who applied to Stanford, just 2,144, or 5.05 percent, were accepted, according to a statement from the university in Stanford, California.

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But fewer parents will have to pay tuition, which will be free for those coming from households with annual incomes below $125,000, the university said in the release. That expands on a financial aid program that had previously waived tuition costs to students from households making less than $100,000 a year.

Parents with incomes below $65,000 will also be spared the cost of room and board, versus the previous threshold, set in 2008-2009, of $60,000, Stanford said.

Students will still be required to contribute at least $5,000 a year to their educations through savings, summer jobs and part-time work during the academic year, the university said.

The changes come after Stanford's Board of Trustees in February approved a 3.5 percent increase in tuition, with total undergraduate fees rising to $60,427 for the next academic year. Annual costs, which include things like travel and books and supplies, for a typical Stanford student come to roughly $65,000 before financial aid, according to the university.

"This expansion of the financial aid program is a demonstration of Stanford's commitment to access for outstanding students from all backgrounds -- including not only those from the lowest socioeconomic status, but also middle- and upper-middle-class families who need our assistance as well," Karen Cooper, associate dean and director of financial aid," said in the release.

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