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Harvard’s Financial Aid to Middle Class Pressures Rivals

Harvard’s Financial Aid to Middle Class Pressures Rivals

Posted December. 31, 2007 05:29,   


It is reported that Korea is the third-largest source of foreign students with 297 students currently enrolled at Harvard University.

Among 3,913 full-time international students from 141 countries who registered at the university for the 2007-2008 academic year as of November 1, 2007, there were 297 (7.6 percent) from Korea, trailing Canada and China, according to the rankings listed by the Harvard International Office on Saturday.

In terms of population by nations, Canada topped the list with 489, followed by China (400), Korea (297), India (216), the United Kingdom (201), Germany (158), Japan (127), Taiwan (117), Turkey (90) and Mexico (83). Based on the number of undergraduate students, Canada also came first (121), followed by the United Kingdom (49), Korea (37), China (28), and India and Germany (19).

Compared to the 1991-1992 academic year, there were only 97 students from Korea, resulting in its fifth spot in the rankings. Since then the number steadily grew to 174, second only to Canada in 1997-1998. The Korean population at the school has remained in third place since the 1999-2000 academic year.

The number of Korean students at Harvard increased 3.1 times compared to that of 16 years ago. Students from Japan decreased during the period, while the number of Indian students increased 3.4 times. The statistics also showed that North Korea sent two students in the academic year in 2001-2002 and one student in 2002-2003.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reported on December 29 that the initiative of Harvard, aiming to get more low-income students to enroll by reducing tuition fees for them, is placing other schools under pressure to follow suit.

The Ivy League school said undergraduates whose families earn up to $180,000 per year (170 million won) would be asked to pay 10 percent or less of their incomes annually for the cost of Harvard. Under the initiative, students from families earning $120,000 a year, have to pay just $12,000 and those from such families earning less than 60,000 will be exempted in their tuition fees.

In line with this measure, some universities, including the University of Pennsylvania announced similar financial measures. However, the question is that it would not be easy to follow suit and provide discounting in tuition fees for other schools that do not have money to match aid from Harvard, which boasts a $35 billion endowment.

In addition, there are concerned voices that if other prestigious private universities in financially stable conditions take the same step as Harvard, top students enrolled in state universities aiming for scholarships will be lured to prestigious private schools such as Harvard.