Apr 24, 2010

Colleges with ‘No Loan’ Financial Aid Packages

When Williams and Dartmouth announced they were retreating from earlier “no-loan” financial aid pledges, a chill went through the air. Would other colleges follow suit? If so, what would be the impact on low- and moderate-income families hoping to avoid the treacherous student loan pit?

The good news, as reported by the Project on Student Debt, is that 50 other colleges with policies to limit or eliminate loans in student aid packages foresee no major policy changes over the next two academic years.

“We found that both public and private colleges are sticking with their commitments to capping student debt despite the tough economy,” said Lauren Asher, president of the Institute for College Access & Success, sponsor of the Project on Student Debt. “With students and families worried about how much they’ll have to borrow to get through, these strong, clear financial aid pledges send an important message that college can still be affordable.”

While generous programs at Ivy League and other big-name private schools have received greater publicity, the Project’s list includes pledges from 17 public institutions including Appalachian State University, North Carolina State, the University of Florida, and the University of Louisville. Liberal arts colleges on the list include Bowdoin, Colby, Davidson, Lafayette, and Lehigh.

Although several colleges plan to raise summer work expectations for students, increase work-study limits, or make other “relatively small” adjustments to their financial aid pledges, only Williams and Dartmouth reported major changes. Both colleges will continue to eliminate loans for low-income students, while capping—but not eliminating—loans for students with incomes above stated thresholds.

Locally, three universities pledged to maintain policies limiting student loans:

College of William and Mary: For Virginia residents with family incomes below $40,000, after the family meets any Expected Family Contribution (EFC), Gateway William and Mary covers the remaining student budget with grant aid.

University of Maryland, College Park: For students with an EFC of zero, the Maryland Pathways program covers the entire student budget with work-study and grant aid. For all seniors who have accumulated $15,900 or more in need-based loans, after the family meets any EFC, the program covers the remaining senior year budget with work-study and grant aid.

University of Virginia: For students with family incomes below 200% of the poverty level, after the family meets any EFC, the Access UVA program covers the remaining student budget with work-study and grant aid. For all other students, after the family has met any EFC and has need-based loans totaling $23,000 over four years, the program takes care of the remaining student budget with work-study and grant aid.

For more information on other schools with no-loan pledges, visit the Project on Student Debt website.

1 comment:

  1. Do not bite your nails thinking about tuition
    i like this article