Brown University announced Dec. 7 that it would be doing away with student loans for its undergraduates and replacing them with additional scholarships and grants, joining a new-but-growing trend in financial aid.
Brown University’s ‘Brown Promise’ program
Starting in the 2018-19 academic year, incoming and returning undergraduate students will no longer receive student loan offers as part of their aid packages. The school has so far raised $30 million out of a $120 million goal for an endowment to fund the scholarships that will take the place of the loans.
The program, dubbed “The Brown Promise,” is aimed at middle-income students who do not qualify for the level of financial aid offered to low-income families, but are still unable to cover the cost of college fully.
“This initiative takes financial aid at the university to the next level, helping us do more for moderate-income students and families,” Brown President Christina Paxson said of her school’s program in a statement. “It amplifies our commitment to bringing the best and brightest students to Brown regardless of their socioeconomic background.”
Other schools make efforts to eliminate student loan debt
The Rhode Island university becomes the latest in a string of schools — including many of Brown’s fellow Ivy League members — who have stopped offering loans to curb the student loan debt crisis facing U.S. college graduates.
Among those already offering loan-free aid packages include Columbia, Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, Yale, University of Chicago, Amherst College, and Stanford University, among others.
Princeton University was the first U.S. college to eliminate loans in 2001, according to U.S. News, which rates the school as the best value among the national universities it ranks.
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