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Harvard College Announces $2,000 ‘Launch Grants’ for Low-Income Juniors

Harvard College's Financial Aid Office is located at 86 Brattle St.
Harvard College's Financial Aid Office is located at 86 Brattle St. By Santiago A. Saldivar
By Michelle N. Amponsah and Emma H. Haidar, Crimson Staff Writers

Harvard College will provide $2,000 “launch grants” to low-income students in the fall of their junior year, according to a press release published Thursday.

The grants — which will be distributed to students whose annual family income is less than $85,000 — will support students’ plans for “post-Harvard life.” According to the release, roughly a quarter of undergraduates in 2023 had a family income of less than $85,000.

The grant is intended to cover costs such as travel to job interviews or test preparation materials and has no restrictions on use. Seniors who meet the family income criteria will also receive the grant for this year only, the press release states.

“The Financial Aid Office is continuing to remove barriers for students so they can take full advantage of all that Harvard has to offer, both during Harvard and as they prepare for life after Harvard,” Jake Kaufmann ’93, director of financial aid, said in the release.

According to the release, the grants will be made possible through the donations of Paul B. Edgerley, Sandra M. Edgerley ’84, John Irving ’83, Elizabeth Irving, Jonathan C. Korngold ’96, Kristy Korngold, and two anonymous donors.

The creation of the launch grant comes after the College expanded financial aid for the second year in a row by raising the threshold for cost-free attendance to $85,000 for the 2023-24 academic year.

Since 2016, the College has provided a “start-up” grant for students with zero parent contribution — a $2,000 stipend to incoming students allocated for “move-in costs and other expenses incurred in the transition to College.”

“As we prepare our students for lives of meaning and purpose after Harvard, we want them to know that no dream is too big,” Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Hopi E. Hoekstra said in the Thursday press release.

“Our alumni are leaders across all sectors and around the globe. Giving our students every opportunity to follow where their passions lead them, to make their unique contribution to the world, is an important investment in Harvard’s global impact,” she added.

—Staff writer Michelle N. Amponsah can be reached at Follow her on X @mnamponsah.

—Staff writer Emma H. Haidar can be reached at Follow her on X @HaidarEmma.

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