Increasingly, college is becoming an option only for those who: Afford Or willing to take on huge student debts. But not all schools think that way.
More than 20 schools now have a “no loan” policy. This means that he can meet 100% of the financial aid needs of undergraduates and does not incur any educational debt.
“The loan is not part of the contract,” said Anne Harris, president of Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa.
Coming out of the pandemic, Grinnell has focused on college access and implemented a loan-free policy for the 2021-2022 academic year, Harris said.
“Doing this won’t solve every problem out there, but it’s a crucial step forward,” she said.
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It opened the door for Beck Lambert, a sophomore in Manchester, New Hampshire, who couldn’t afford college. “I couldn’t even afford to apply to go to college,” said Lambert.
Lambert, 20, was hesitant to borrow money for college because he worked full-time at a gas station to pay for his high school. He “didn’t want to be in debt for the rest of his life,” Lambert said. “It’s scary when he’s been living with debt over his shoulder.”
Lambert applied an early decision and is now majoring in history at Grinnell. She will be the first in her family to graduate from college.
Editor-in-Chief of The Princeton Review,Best 388 Colleges.”
“If we can make the school loan-free, that’s going to be important,” he said.
“I think they are leading the way in their ability to address the biggest concern of their families, which is that they are in too much debt to pay for college,” Franek added. “They are listening to students and their families and working directly with them.”
As Debate Over Student Loan Forgiveness “It’s best to limit students’ need to borrow from the start,” said John Leach, Emory University’s vice president of admissions and financial aid. “Schools like Emory feel that responsibility very much.”
Recently, Emory expanded its financial assistance offering to cover 100% of proven needs by replacing loans with grants. The extra cost to her school was around $8 million, according to Leach.
“Budget modeling is important,” added Grinnell’s Harris. “Can you put up with it?” Funding the no-lending policy will cost Grinnell an additional $5 million a year, she estimates.
“Schools that can do that are either moving in that direction or already moving in that direction,” Leach said.
Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina has had a loan-free policy since 2007.
“We are the first national liberal arts college to do so,” said Davidson Principal Doug Hicks.
“Accessibility and affordability are the future,” Hicks said. “As a parent, I know that.”
Universities have also benefited from the no-lending policy.
Davidson has jumped from about 4,500 in 2007 when the school first eliminated loans to 6,500 today.As a result, school yields have improved — or Percentage of students who choose to enroll after admission, and academic performance.
“I’ve seen a much more diverse student body,” Hicks said. “It’s a much more interesting student body.”
“Being able to support our students and provide world-class financial aid programs helps us have a world-class student body,” said Emory’s Leach. “Getting more generous need-based aid is a competitive advantage.”
Of course, students may still be on the hook due to expected family contributions and other costs such as books and fees.
“No loan doesn’t mean free,” Franek noted.
For example, Lambert works two part-time jobs on campus to cover about $1,800 per semester in family contributions.
Correction: This story has been updated with the correct spelling of the cities in the chart.