New Hampshire Ivy League university Dartmouth College announced that it would no longer offer loans in its financial aid packages for undergrad students and instead replace them with grants effective June 23, 2022. What does this mean for those currently enrolled and students who want to attend this university? Here's what you need to know.
What will happen to students who already have student loans?
Students who have student loans from previous schools will not be affected by this change at Dartmouth. Loans will still be available as part of the loan repayment program offered by the federal government. However, since Dartmouth no longer offers loans in its financial aid packages, some students may have to find other ways to pay for school, such as the grants offered by the university, weigh the pros and cons of debt consolidation for their outstanding loans, or consider going to another university.
Why would Dartmouth remove the option of student loans?
Dartmouth is one of the many schools across the country that are struggling to keep up with the cost of education and understanding that the middle class is suffering from being in the stressful position of earning too much to be eligible for financial aid but not enough to pay for an Ivy League education.
The average price of a four-year degree has increased by more than $10,000 over the past decade, and it's not likely to stop rising any time soon. For a school like Dartmouth, which already has a high tuition rate, removing loans from the financial aid package makes sense.
Dartmouth College President Philip Hanlon explained the reasoning behind removing student loans: "Thanks to this extraordinary investment by our community, students can prepare for lives of impact with fewer constraints…Eliminating loans from financial aid packages will allow Dartmouth undergraduates to seek their purpose and passion in the broadest possible range of career possibilities."
How did this change come about?
Dartmouth says this financial move will eliminate nearly $5,500 in student loan debt for each student yearly. Previously, Dartmouth's financial aid policy didn't require student loans for undergrads whose household income was less than $125,000 per year.
After receiving over $80 million in donor support, Dartmouth's Board decided to change the policy so that students whose household incomes exceeded $125,000 would now no longer need to apply for student loans.
Will this new policy apply to all students?
The removal of student loan offerings in Dartmouth's financial aid packages will be available to students entering the summer 2022 semester. Previously graduated students and those enrolled in graduate programs at Dartmouth are not eligible for student loan forgiveness from the new policy.
The bottom line
Overall, this change is good news for students who want to attend Dartmouth but are worried about how they will afford tuition costs. Removing student loans from the financial aid package means that more money will go towards grants and scholarships instead. This means that students at Dartmouth will have access to more money to help them receive an education from a top-tier university without worrying how they'll be able to pay for it.
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