"Our doors have long been open to talented students regardless of financial need but many students simply do not know or believe this. We are determined to change both the perception and the reality."
– President Emeritus Lawrence H. Summers
We at the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative are very excited to provide you with more information about our program! Below we have outlined information on Harvardís comprehensive low- and middle-income scholarship initiative. The Harvard Financial Aid Initiative (HFAI) was announced by University President Emeritus Lawrence Summers in March 2004. It aimed to reduce economic barriers to attending Harvard College by significantly expanding financial aid benefits to low- and middle-income families. HFAI was and continues to be an extension of our generous financial aid program here at Harvard College. We remain committed to eliminating economic obstacles for qualified students seeking higher education.
Since 2006, students from families with incomes less than $60,000 who are accepted to Harvard under our regular admissions policies have had no expected parent contribution for their education. Beginning in the fall of 2012, this "zero contribution threshold" will be increased to $65,000. Financial aid is available to all students based on assessed need. Beginning with the class of 2016, families with incomes up to $150,000 will have an average expected parent contribution of 10 percent or less of their income and, as we continue to take individual circumstances into consideration in our assessment of financial need, many families in even higher income brackets also receive substantive financial aid. Families at all income levels who have significant assets will continue to pay more than those in less fortunate circumstances.
To be considered under HFAI, students must apply to and gain admission to Harvard College. However, admission to Harvard is based on achievement and promise without regard to financial need; the financial paperwork is handled separately, and applying for financial aid does not jeopardize a student's chances for admission. The application fee normally associated with admissions can also be waived upon request in yet another effort to facilitate the Initiativeís goals.
In addition to filing admission application materials, students need to apply for financial aid. These forms help the Financial Aid Office determine what kind of aid package a student will need to be able to afford to attend Harvard. Harvard will meet a studentís demonstrated financial need for each year based on information we receive from the family. The policies above reflect Harvard's unwavering belief that financial concerns should never be a deterrent to a student's pursuit of an education at Harvard, which is open to talented students from all backgrounds.
Additionally, HFAI serves as a touchstone for individuals looking to learn more about the application and financial aid process, both at Harvard and at large. If you have any further questions or concerns about the initiative, please do not hesitate to contact us Ė we have a cadre of student coordinators (whose bios are also listed on this website) available to assist potential applicants during the academic year and who are more than happy to explain both the basics of financial aid policy and the more specific aspects of Harvard application and student life. Our telephone number is (617)-384-8213, our email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and we look forward to hearing from you!