You have /5 articles left.
Sign up for a free account or log in.

Steepled building on a tree-lined idyllic green

Dartmouth College campus in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Dartmouth College is boosting financial aid significantly for middle-income students, thanks to a $150 million donation—the largest scholarship gift in the college’s history.

The bequest comes from the late Glenn Britt, a telecommunications entrepreneur who attended both the college and the Tuck School of Business, and his late wife, Barbara Britt.

The gift will allow the college to nearly double the family income threshold for students to receive free tuition, room, and board from $65,000 to $125,000, among the highest of any institution in the country. The change will take effect starting this fall, and will apply to incoming freshmen.

Lee Coffin, Dartmouth’s dean of admissions and financial aid, said in a statement that increasing the “zero parent contribution threshold,” as the college calls it, will help make Dartmouth more affordable for middle-class students in particular, a group that is often left out of college-access initiatives.

“Increasing the threshold for expected parent contributions for a greater number of families is a strong, important commitment to addressing the college affordability concerns for middle-income families,” he said. “College affordability is a serious issue for these families.”

Many wealthy, highly selective colleges have expanded their financial aid programs in the past year, especially in the lead-up to and aftermath of the Supreme Court’s affirmative-action ban.

Last February, Stanford University increased its income cap for free tuition, room and board from 75,000 to 100,000 and said it would waive at least tuition for students from families earning less than $150,000. In June, one week before the Supreme Court ruling, Duke University announced it would waive tuition for students from North and South Carolina families making under $150,000 a year. And this past December, the University of Virginia raised its tuition waiver eligibility cap from $80,000 to $100,000 for state residents.