Stanford just made tuition free for students from families making under $125K a year.

Last week, Stanford announced that it was expanding the financial assistance program it created in 2008 to make tuition free for low and middle-income students. Originally, parents had to make less than $100,000 in order to qualify for free tuition. But wait, for students from families making under $65,000, it gets even better.


Okay, so it’s obvious the swing set in Stan’s mind (Dreamscapers) is the same one from his childhood as seen in Not What He Seems. And it literally breaks my heart. 

The Swing set is a metaphor for Stan’s relationship with his brother, which was fine and good when they were kids, but broken and dark once Stan’s brother disappeared. 

But notice one thing; its STANFORD’s swing thats broken, not his brothers. HE is the one who feels broken and useless because of his brothers absence. He is the truly lost one. 

We knew he was guilty about something, but this shows just how ruined he was after Stanley was lost. 

Stanford just made tuition free for families earning less than $125,000 per year

If a student’s parents make less than $125,000 per year, and if they have assets of less than $300,000, excluding retirement accounts, the parents won’t be expected to pay anything toward their children’s Stanford tuition. Families with incomes lower than $65,000 won’t have to contribute to room and board, either.

Students themselves will have to pay up to $5,000 each year from summer earnings, savings, and part-time work. There’s no rule that parents can’t cover their students’ required contribution.

Stanford is much more generous toward middle-class and upper-middle class students than the federal government is. Most students who get subsidized loans and federal Pell Grants come from families making less than $60,000 per year. But it also enrolls an outsize proportion of wealthy students. In 2010, the university’s director of financial aid said the median family income at Stanford was around $125,000.

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As the cost of college skyrockets, one school has a radical new plan: a free education.

Stanford recently made news by expanding its program, waiving tuition fees for students from families making less than $125,000.

In addition, students from families making less than $65,000 per year will receive free room and board.

This comes as the cost of attending the highly touted California university creeps past $60,000 per year.

It’s great news for students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford Stanford. But the school’s admissions criteria is extremely selective (accepting around just 5% of applicants).

The school is only able to offer such deep discounts because:

  1. The more financially well-off students’ fees help offset the cost of those in need.
  2. And the school’s $21 billion endowment fund (compared to the average private-college endowment of around just $26 million).

But what about the rest of us who can’t (or don’t want to) attend Stanford? What can we do?

Well, here are a few ideas being tossed around now.


I feel like ‘Not What He Seems’ was an episode of tough decisions, especially for Soos. Soos openly defied the closest thing he’s ever had to a father. He stood up to and stopped a man he adores and loves with all his heart. Soos had always done every demeaning, disgusting or morally questionable request Stan made with a smile on his face, but here he finally decides that this was the one line he would not cross.  Soos has grown so much over the course of the show and this scene shows us he’s finally become his own man.