More and more colleges are signing “no-loan pledges” in an effort to reduce students’ post-graduation debt, reports a Washington Post article, “Colleges offer grants, work-study to reduce students’ debt.”
In order to fill the gap between what colleges charge and what students can afford, many colleges are boosting their work-study opportunities, as well as promising more aid in grants.
Private schools like Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Pennsylvania are even going so far as to eliminate loan debt for most of their graduating seniors. And at a time of economic hardship, this is not an easy feat; in fact, Penn’s financial aid budget just increased 78% to $149 million, just in the last years. Penn administrators say that this investment is worth it.
At many state universities, the practice of eliminating loans for low-income families has been in practice already for a few years. Today, however, not only are middle class families unable to take on more debt, but that lower-class bracket now includes more than half as many students as it did five years ago. In other words, a growing number of students require aid; nonetheless, many schools are committed to their no- or reduced-loan policies.
Such changes in the way loans are administered is helping top-tier, private, liberal arts colleges widen their application pools. More students from more diverse backgrounds are able to considering schools like Penn or Harvard (not to mention the now-expensive state schools) for the first time ever, now that they know that attending such a school won’t leave them with hundreds of dollars of unmanageable debt.
Related Accepted Resources:
- Financing Your Future: Winning Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards for Grad School, an instantly downloadable ebook.
- Applying to B-School in Times of Crisis, free special report.
- “New ‘No-Co-Signer’ Loans Aid Foreign MBA Students,” a blog post.
- “Recent Student Loan/Student Debt Statistics,” a blog post.
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