Stanford Introduces New Financial Tools to Help Parents Pay for College


Stanford, one of the few remaining institutions that admits college students regardless of their ability to pay, is introducing a new installment payment program for parents and is working with a company that offers innovative peer-to-peer loan programs.

By

LA Cicero

Karen Cooper, director of financial aid, says that even with Stanford’s generous aid program, parents often look to financing alternatives.

Stanford University is introducing two new financial tools to make college payments easier for families.

Starting this summer, the university will offer undergraduate families the opportunity to pay their major educational expenses (tuition, room and board) during the nine months of the academic year instead of three quarterly disbursements.

Under the fee schedule, parents of college students will be able to begin distributing their payments beginning in July for the 2014-15 school year. The program will be offered free of charge. Parents can learn more about the installment payment plan by visiting the Student Financial Services Website.

Additionally, Stanford will work with SoFi, created by Stanford graduates, to encourage the company to provide parenting loans. Founded by four Stanford Graduate School of Business alumni, SoFi is a peer-to-peer lender that augments loan programs with career guidance, entrepreneurship support, and unemployment protection.

Both new programs were reviewed by the Stanford Board of Trustees on June 11.

Stanford, one of the few universities left that admits American students regardless of financial need, already has an aggressive financial aid program for college students. Under the improvements instituted in 2007, parents with typical assets and household incomes below $ 100,000 are expected to pay nothing for tuition. More than 75 percent of Stanford students graduate debt-free.

Still, Stanford is aware that even with its generous financial aid program, some families struggle, according to Karen Cooper, Stanford’s director of financial aid.

“We’ve been talking to parents for some time about what we could do to make things easier for them,” Cooper said. “Even with our generous assistance program, parents who have not saved for college costs often look for financing alternatives. Although our parents have access to the federal parent loan program, with an upfront fee of more than 4 percent and a Interest rate of 7.21 percent, we saw some parents had to make tough decisions. This SoFi alternative gives parents another viable option. “

SoFi was launched to offer innovative alternatives to federal or bank-guaranteed loans in light of the national student debt burden. The parent loan program will be limited to US citizens or permanent residents who meet credit approval criteria. Information about the program is available online.

“While Stanford has one of the strongest needs-based financial aid programs in the country, the university is also committed to providing a robust and reasonable parent loan program, when needed,” said Richard Shaw, dean. undergraduate admission program from Stanford. and financial aid. “We are pleased that SoFi has agreed to help the parents of Stanford college students with a very robust and viable option to help them meet their estimated contribution to the cost of their children, when needed.”

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