As reported by NBC News, Dartmouth has announced its decision to eliminate all federal and institutional loans from their undergraduate financial aid packages.
Currently, Dartmouth College covers the full cost of tuition for students whose families earn $125k or less and who have typical assets. These students are offered need-based aid without loans. Now with the new policy change, all loans offered to those students whose family income exceeds 125k and who receive need-based financial aid will be substituted with scholarships starting the summer of 2022.
According to NBC news, the new policy is predicted to lower the burden of debt “for hundreds of middle-income Dartmouth students… by an average of $22,000 over four years.” Or, as reported in NPR, $5,500 in annual student debt for each undergraduate.
NPR quotes university president Philip Hanlon; “Eliminating loans from financial aid packages will allow Dartmouth undergraduates to seek their purpose and passion in the broadest possible range of career possibilities.”
This initiative, as reported by NBC News, originates from a 2018 campaign “The Call to Lead,” which, through the support of more than 65 families, committed more than $80 million in gifts to the endowment to help with undergraduate financial aid.
The effort to ease student debt is an ongoing trend. Back in April, Williams College announced its decision to eliminate loans and all required campus and summer jobs as part of financial aid packages. Williams’ new “all-grant” financial aid had been projected to benefit approximately 53 percent of their undergraduates.