Harvard will increase scholarship awards to middle-income families, beginning with next year's freshman class.
Middle-income scholarship families earning $15,000 to $30,000 a year will be expected to contribute $200 to $400 less than they do now to their child's college expenses, L. Fred Jewett, '57, dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, said yesterday.
The change is the result of an adjustment in the scholarship guidelines of the College Scholarship Service (CSS) in Princeton, New Jersey. The guidelines, voluntarily followed by Harvard and colleges across the country, are used to compute how much a student's family can pay.
Jewett said Harvard has been urging CSS to make adjustments for middle-income families. "Their need-analysis was not an accurate reflection of ability to pay," he said. These families have been hard hit by the increasing cost of a college education, Jewett said.
Harvard has already made some of the adjustments, awarding larger scholarships to middle-income students than the guidelines called for, Jewett said. The freshman financial aid office is in the process of calculating the effect of these new guidelines on present Harvard policies, he said.
Lower-income families are not affected, because they do not pay substantial portions of college expenses.
Jewett blamed inflation and rising costs for a slight decrease last year in applications to Harvard from middle-income students. Since fewer middle-class students are applying Jewett said the admissions office is accepting more students from upper-income families.
CSS has made frequent changes in their scholarship formulas, Jewett said, but "the new tables make much more significant changes than the others."
The scholarship adjustment was made in reaction to inflation, Jewett said. "There was a feeling among many people" that the middle-income group needed some relief from the burdens of rising costs, he said.