Dartmouth is Replacing Student Loan Requirements for Undergrads with Expanded Scholarship Grants

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University is seen as the key to a rewarding future. However, for many families, higher education is an economic liability that causes long-lasting financial consequences rather than opportunities for success.

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No-loan colleges may provide the answer for low-income students, who are increasingly being priced out of higher education. As Boston.com reports, Dartmouth College has entered the growing group of universities abandoning federal loans in favor of scholarship grants, starting this summer.

In a press statement issued Monday, Dartmouth President Philip J. Hanlon announced the college will be removing loan requirements for families who earn an annual income of more than $125,000 and who already receive need-based aid.

Undergraduates from families who make $125,000 a year or less have already benefitted from need-based assistance without a required loan since last year.

The grants are being funded by more than $120 million in scholarship gifts and pledges to “The Call to Lead” campaign endowment since September 1, 2021, per the campaign.

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Boston.com points to the college’s “The Call to Lead” fundraising campaign as a catalyst for change. Since it was initiated in 2018, there has been an assertive effort to make its college accessible to the best and brightest from around the world, regardless of their economic circumstance.

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With this move, Dartmouth has joined fellow Ivy League universities like Brown, Columbia, Harvard, UPenn and Yale in approving no-loan, need-based financial aid policies, ones that are limited to low-income students who qualify for a federal Pell Grant or whose family income falls below $40,000 to $60,000, according to college financial helper Edvisors.com.

There are dozens and dozens of colleges that have adopted no-loan policies in favor of grants over the years but they are hardly free education schemes. According to CNBC, most students enrolled in a no-loan college are paying and contributing to their education through partial contributions and summer work expectations.

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However, approximately 450 Dartmouth students and their families will be unburdened of around $22,000 over the course of four years of education due to the college’s no-loan decision.

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