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Tuition Assistance for the Middle Class

Why recent moves by Harvard and other educational heavyweights to lighten the financial load for middle-income families won't be copied at many schools

Well-endowed colleges have discovered they love the middle class.

Following recent announcements by Ivy League heavyweights Harvard and Yale that they were cutting costs for families earning in the low six figures, a growing number of competitors have fallen in line to offer comparable packages to middle-class families. On Jan. 31, Cornell became the fifth Ivy League school to announce a new financial aid initiative for students, closely following on the heels of Dartmouth and the University of Pennsylvania. Even schools outside the Ivy League, such as Northwestern University, are following suit. On the same day that Cornell weighed in, Northwestern announced plans to eliminate student loans and replace them with grants for undergraduate students with the greatest financial need.