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Admission & Financial Aid

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Undergraduate Financial Aid

The University has a comprehensive need-based financial aid program for its undergraduates. Stanford is committed to meeting the University-computed financial need of each admitted student, and admission decisions are made without regard to the applicant's financial status, except in the case of international students who are neither U.S. citizens nor U.S. registered permanent residents.

Before awarding institutional funds, the University assumes that students and their parents accept the first and primary responsibility for meeting educational costs. Stanford's policy generally is to exclude undergraduates from being considered financially independent of their parents for University-administered scholarship aid unless a student is an orphan, a ward of the court, or at least 25 years of age. Spouses of married undergraduate students share in the responsibility to meet educational costs.

Stanford expects financial aid applicants to apply for and use resources from state, federal, and private funding sources, contribute from their earnings during nonenrollment periods (for example, summer), and use earnings from part-time employment during the academic year to meet educational expenses. If Stanford determines that an applicant and his or her family cannot meet standard educational expenses remaining after these resources are applied, the University offers scholarship funds to help meet remaining costs.

The amount of scholarship or grant funds offered to students is determined by the difference between the comprehensive cost of attendance (including tuition, fees, room, board and allowances for books, supplies, personal expenses, and travel) and the amount the student and parents can reasonably be expected to contribute toward educational costs based on family financial circumstances. Scholarships from outside sources may change the University's financial aid award. When a student receives outside scholarships, these funds reduce or eliminate the student's responsibility to contribute from job earnings. If the total in outside scholarships exceeds the student's responsibility, the University then reduces institutional scholarship, dollar for dollar, by any additional amount.

Students are considered for University scholarship eligibility during their first four years of undergraduate enrollment. The Financial Aid Office (FAO) considers applicants for University scholarship eligibility beyond the twelfth quarter only if enrollment is essential in order to complete the minimum requirements for the first baccalaureate degree or major. Students who enroll for a fifth year in pursuit of a coterminal program, a minor, a second major, a second degree, or the B.A.S. degree are not eligible for University scholarship consideration but may apply for student loans and federal grants. Eligibility for federal student aid is limited to the equivalent of 18 quarters of full-time undergraduate enrollment, including course work taken at other colleges and universities. Students must also maintain satisfactory academic progress to retain financial aid eligibility.

For additional detailed information, refer to the FAO website.

Graduate Financial Aid

Graduate students at Stanford receive funding from a variety of sources. University fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships are offered primarily to doctoral students. In some cases, master's students also may receive fellowships and assistantships. In addition, outside agencies provide fellowships to many graduate students at Stanford. Students without fellowships or assistantships, and those whose funding does not cover all of their costs, may need to use student loans, savings, other personal assets, a spouse's earnings, or parental support to meet their educational expenses.

Veterans Education Benefits

The Office of the University Registrar serves as the liaison between the University, its students, and the various federal, state, and local agencies concerned with Veterans education benefits. Stanford certifies enrollment for students in degree seeking programs and VA approved certificate programs offered through the Stanford Center for Professional Development and Graduate School of Business. Other non-matriculated and certificate programs are not eligible. All students eligible to receive Veterans education benefits while attending the University are urged to complete arrangements with the appropriate agency in advance of enrollment.

Stanford University is required to certify only those courses that meet minimum graduation requirements. Courses not directly related to a student's degree program or courses beyond those required for a specific degree program are not certified. Undergraduates should meet with an advisor to develop a course enrollment plan. Graduate students should have their departments approve their study lists as meeting graduation requirements on a quarterly basis.

To comply with federal regulations concerning credit for previous training (38 CFR 21.4253), Stanford University is required to evaluate all previous education and training completed elsewhere to determine what credit, if any, should be granted to students eligible to receive Veterans educational benefits. Stanford is required to complete an evaluation; credit is granted when appropriate. Credit is evaluated toward the degree program registered with Veterans Affairs as determined by the Office of the University Registrar in conjunction with the relevant academic department(s) or program(s). All relevant policies regarding transfer credit apply. In addition, this evaluation occurs each time a student's degree program is changed.

Subject to current federal and University guidelines, students eligible for receipt of VA educational benefits have their prior education and training evaluated up to the credit limits outlined in the Residency Policy for Graduate Students. As an exception to that policy, students in master's programs in the schools of Earth Sciences, Education, Engineering, Humanities and Sciences, Law, Medicine, and Graduate Business are allowed a maximum of 6 transfer (quarter) units. Students should consult with the VA Certifying Officer for consideration of optimal use of  VA education benefits.

Stanford participates in the Yellow Ribbon provision of the Post 9/11 GI Bill (Ch. 33). If a matriculated student qualifies for Chapter 33 benefits at the 100% level, the student may be eligible to receive additional funding through the Yellow Ribbon Program. Under this program, Stanford provides an institutional award to supplement the Chapter 33 base tuition benefit. The VA also matches Stanford's Yellow Ribbon contribution. The amount of institutional contribution varies by school and program. See the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs Yellow Ribbon website for additional information.

See the Office for Military Affiliated Communities (OMAC) website for additional information about Veterans education benefits.