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How Some Colleges Are Helping Students Avoid Crushing Student Loan Debt

Elinor Rozenvasser Updated: October 15, 2023 • 3 min read
college students sitting in an auditorium

Key Points:

  • Several colleges are implementing "no-loan" policies to eliminate student loans from financial aid packages, easing the burden of student debt.

  • These policies aim to make higher education more accessible and affordable for students, particularly those from low- and moderate-income families.

  • If you need assistance with student loans or explore student loan forgiveness options, specialized companies can provide valuable guidance.

In the wake of the ongoing debate over student loan forgiveness, a growing number of colleges across the United States are taking proactive measures to address the crippling issue of student debt. Their solution? "No-loan" policies. These policies, now adopted by approximately two dozen schools, signify a commitment to meet 100% of a student's financial need through grants and work-study, without resorting to student loans.

Let's explore why these "no-loan" policies matter, how they benefit students, and what you can do if you need help managing your student debt.

No loan doesn't mean free.

Why "No-Loan" Policies Matter

The rising concern surrounding student loan debt has prompted colleges to rethink their financial aid strategies. Without broad-based student loan forgiveness, many institutions recognize the need to provide relief to their students.

"No-loan" policies are their answer. These policies are designed to ensure that students can pursue higher education without the looming specter of crushing debt upon graduation.

Here's a list of the top 10 colleges and universities that fully meet students' specified financial requirements, without the reliance on loans.

Amherst College
Bowdoin College
Brown University
Colby College
Dartmouth College
Davidson College
Duke University
Grinnell College
Harvard College
Lafayette College's Approach

One institution at the forefront of this movement is Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. Nicole Hurd, the President of Lafayette College, emphasizes the importance of keeping college accessible.

At Lafayette, families with household incomes of up to $200,000 have their financial needs covered through grants and work-study, without relying on student loans. Hurd believes in the moral obligation to communicate that college is a valuable investment, especially for low- and moderate-income families.

Colby College's Long-Standing Commitment

Colby College, located in Waterville, Maine, has had a "no-loan" policy in place since 2008. For students like Terra Gallo, majoring in environmental policy, Colby's policy alleviates the fear of accumulating significant debt. Jackie Hardwick, another Colby senior, underscores the importance of college costs when choosing an institution. Scholarships and financial aid support made her enrollment at Colby possible.

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Benefits for Schools and Students

Robert Franek, Editor in Chief of The Princeton Review, highlights the significance of these policies. They address the major concern of assuming too much debt and signal to students and parents that colleges understand their worries. Such programs often lead to an increase in admission applications, benefiting both schools and students.

As Forrest Stuart, Lafayette's Vice President for Enrollment Management, notes, it also enhances the school's visibility and helps them assemble a more robust student body.

Student Loans Related Articles

No-Loan Doesn't Mean Free

It's important to note that "no-loan" policies don't necessarily mean education is entirely free. Students may still be responsible for the expected family contribution, as well as other expenses like books and fees. Some schools may also require work-study participation. As Robert Franek reminds us, "No loan doesn't mean free." Many students, like Jackie Hardwick, work part-time jobs on campus to support themselves and their families.

Make Education Accessible

While "no-loan" policies are a positive step toward lowering student debt, it's crucial to explore all available options. If you need help with student loans or want to explore student loan forgiveness options, consider reaching out to companies specializing in these services. Your financial future is important, and there are resources available to help you make the best decisions for your education.

The Bottom Line

In the ongoing effort to make higher education more accessible and affordable, colleges with "no-loan" policies are leading the way. These policies represent a commitment to students' financial well-being and have the potential to reshape the landscape of higher education.

As you navigate your educational journey, remember that you have options, and there are experts ready to assist you in managing your student loans or opting for a student loan refinance, to achieve your academic goals. Don't hesitate to seek help and take control of your financial future.

Elinor Rozenvasser is a content writer and editor with a knack for finance. She holds a Bachelor's in Communications and Business from Reichman University, and has been swimming alongside finance specialists for over a decade. She's not your typical financial writer, though. She's more likely to use witty puns and sarcasm than jargon and technical terms. But don't let that fool you. She's still a whiz when it comes to explaining complex financial concepts in a way that anyone can understand. If there's any writer who can make finance fun and engaging, Elinor is your girl. She's sure to leave you laughing (and learning) long after you've finished reading her work.