Financial Aid

A Stanford Education is Affordable

Stanford offers comprehensive, need-based financial aid that makes it possible for all admitted undergraduate students to attend — and we do not expect students to borrow to meet their need. Learn how the program works, or use the net price calculator to get an award estimate based on your family’s financial situation.


Jemima grew up as one of six kids, with a mom — her "rock and shining star" — who worked the night shift as a nurse. She thought of Stanford as her super-reach school, until she got in and realized it would cost her almost nothing to attend.

Jenny grew up in Polson, Montana, and assumed that going to college out of state would be "catastrophically expensive." When she got into Stanford, she learned she'd have to pay almost nothing to attend — and that the university would cover the cost of studying abroad.

Cameron comes from Neah Bay, Washington, where his mom is an intake clerk, his dad is a fisherman, and "everybody knows everybody." He was motivated by family and community to get a good college education — but knew his parents wouldn't be able to contribute to covering the cost.

Newly Admitted Undergraduates

You can submit a Request for Revision to report any new information to our office. During April we will make every effort to respond to your request promptly. If there are changes later in the year, or in future years, you can submit a revision request at that time.

Stanford does not match merit-based awards from other universities. However, if you receive a need-based award significantly better than Stanford's, the other university may have new information about your circumstances. In this case, you may consider submitting a Request for Revision to our office.

If you applied for financial aid by the priority filing date your original award letter will be made available to you on your admission Application Status page. That same letter and any subsequent updates will be available to you following these steps from Axess:

  1. Create your SUNet ID and Password.
  2. Log on to AXESS.
  3. At the top of the AXESS page, hover over STUDENT.
  4. Under Quick Links, select View Award Letters.

You may need to disable pop-up blockers in your browser in order to view your award letter. It can take up to 24 hours after creating your SUNet ID before the STUDENT tab becomes available in AXESS.  If you have any issues, feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office.

Families with annual income below $125,000 or $65,000, that have significant assets above what is typical for their income level, may not be eligible for the benchmarks that we have established for scholarship eligibility. Total net worth usually reflects the sum of the following amounts:

  • Cash, savings, checking
  • Investments
  • Equity in real estate other than the home
  • Business net worth

We do not include formal retirement assets (401k, 403b, IRA, Keogh) or equity in your primary residence in our analysis. The Financial Aid Office reserves the right to make the final determination of the expected family contribution, in consideration of all factors affecting a family's overall financial situation and ability to pay.

Many families choose to use the Federal PLUS Loan to help with educational costs. A PLUS loan allows your parents to borrow the amount of the parent contribution, and extends repayment of the loan over 10 years. As a student you may also borrow student loans through our office to help meet your expenses.

Your award letter may list documents or information you must submit to our office before we can finalize your award. It is possible that your award will change if the information you submit is different than originally reported to us.

The University has over 1,200 named scholarships. By completing the CSS Profile, you have already been considered for all sources of scholarship funding. Students who qualify for need-based aid from Stanford are initially awarded scholarship from the Stanford Fund. During the course of the academic year, the Financial Aid Office will reallocate funds to award these named scholarships. This does not affect the calculated family contribution. When you accept scholarship funds from Stanford, your name, major and hometown will be released to the donor of that scholarship. In most cases, you will be expected to write a thank-you letter to the person who made your scholarship possible.

In most cases you can meet your academic year earnings expectation without jeopardizing your academic priorities. If you choose not to work, you can reduce or eliminate your earnings expectation with outside awards or student loans.  

You will receive an electronic billing statement well in advance of each academic quarter. Your bill will include tuition, room and board, and other charges for the quarter. Payments are due on September 15 (Autumn quarter), December 15 (Winter) and March 15 (Spring).

Your financial aid award letter shows the amount of aid that you will receive for each quarter. If your quarter's aid is less than the balance due, you are responsible for paying the remaining balance and all other expenses with your own funds. However, if your quarter's aid exceeds your balance due, you will receive a refund for the amount of the overage.


Updated on December 18, 2018 11:39 AM