With the nation collectively owing $1.3 trillion in student loan debt and countless graduates struggling to pay back their student loans, one Ivy League school, Brown University, is getting rid of it.
According to a report in Quartz, starting in the next school year Brown University will eliminate all of the student loans in its financial aid packages for undergraduates, granting them scholarships instead. The move comes after it raised $30 million via a fundraising effort that kicked off in September, resulting in 2,087 donors contributing money. There are plans to raise $90 million more to keep the scholarship going.
In 2015, Brown announced plans to raise $500 million for its undergraduate financial aid plan. At the time, the university’s president, Christina Paxson, said the effort “amplifies our commitment to bringing the best and brightest students to Brown regardless of their socioeconomic background.”
The university’s move not only helps remove financial pressure for countless middle- and low-income students and their families, but also helps Brown to remain competitive. Additionally, it sends the message to its peers that it is time to do something about financial aid, given that the price to attend a four-year Ivy League school is reaching the $250,000 level, which is preventing scores of potential students from applying.
Princeton and Yale already have no-loan policies on the books, but lots of other leading colleges and universities have income cutoffs for financial aid packages, which means poorer families tend to get more aid than middle-income applicants. With Brown’s offering, the university hopes to help families with moderate incomes who wouldn’t qualify for the generous financial aid packages typically afforded to lower-income students.