Davidson College made national headlines this morning with an announcement that it is eliminating loans from student financial aid packages this fall. The move makes Davidson one of only a handful of institutions nationwide with such a policy. See “LINKS” at the end of the Davidson press release for stories by national news media.
Davidson College press release, via PRNewswire:
March 19, 2007 — In an effort to make a Davidson education affordable for all students, Davidson College and its Board of Trustees announced today a new financial aid policy that will eliminate loans at the institution. As a result, all Davidson students will have their demonstrated financial need funded entirely through grants and student employment.
“We believe this new policy is the necessary response to the financial situation facing many applicants and their families, and know it is consistent with a core value of the college,” said Davidson College President Robert F. Vagt. “A Davidson education should be affordable for all students, regardless of means. This is an historic change for Davidson and for liberal arts institutions across the nation. With the support of the entire college family, from students to faculty, trustees to alumni, we are confident this bold reform will prove to make a significant difference for our students, our institution, and our community.”
Taking effect in August 2007, this new policy makes Davidson the first national liberal arts college in the country to adopt such a policy, eliminating student debt for its graduates. Davidson will meet 100 percent of the demonstrated need with grants and student employment, but families retain the option to take out education loans as part of personal financing.
Davidson will maintain its strict commitment to practicing need-blind admissions, meaning the family’s ability to pay for a Davidson education has no bearing on whether or not the student is admitted.
Currently, 33 percent of Davidson students receive need-based financial aid, with packages inclusive of grant, loan and campus employment. Nationally, college students borrow $53.8 billion per year to cover college costs.
Davidson is the first national liberal arts college, and only one of a couple of institutions of higher education, in the country to completely eliminate loans from student aid packages.
“The trustees are deeply committed to this new policy that will be funded entirely with new monies,” said John F. McCartney, chair of Davidson’s Board of Trustees. In order to allow students to graduate from Davidson debt-free, the Trustees have identified and committed the immediate funding needed to initiate this policy, while formally committing to a strategy for raising new monies to endow the program, noted McCartney.
Source: Davidson College
March 19, 2007, National Public Radio, “Davidson College dropping student loans.”
March 19, 2007, Associated Press, “Davidson Gets Rid of Financial Aid Loans” (Via WashingtonPost.com)
March 19, 2007, Inside Higher Ed/insidehighered.com, “Davidson Eliminates All Loans.”
March 19, 2007, Chronicle of Higher Education, “Davidson College, in Move to Increase Access, Will Substitute Grants for Loans for All Students” (subscription required)