Joining a growing number of schools working to lighten the burden of student debt, Dartmouth College announced Tuesday that it would eliminate student loans for undergraduates and replace them with scholarship grants.
The shift is made possible by gifts of over $80 million from 65 families to support the Ivy League school’s campaign goal to eliminate loan requirements for undergraduates.
Set to take effect on June 23, students entering in the summer of 2022 will be the first beneficiaries of the policy.
“Thanks to this extraordinary investment by our community, students can prepare for lives of impact with fewer constraints,” Dartmouth President, Philip Hanlon, said while speaking to hundreds of alumni. “Eliminating loans from financial aid packages will allow Dartmouth undergraduates to seek their purpose and passion in the broadest possible range of career possibilities.”
‘The Call to Lead’ Campaign
According to the university’s website, the policy is part of the school’s “The Call to Lead” campaign — “a bold appeal to Dartmouth’s worldwide community to engage with the important concerns of this century and the next.”
In line with the initiative, the school has also started accepting need-blind applications from international students and raised the household income threshold for full scholarships to $125,000. Admission choices that are “need-blind” disregard an applicant’s financial situation.
“Dartmouth already offers generous assistance to students from low-income backgrounds, and this move to a universal no-loan policy will help middle-income families who often have to stretch their budgets to meet the cost of higher education,” director of financial aid at Dartmouth, Dino Koff, stated.
The latest announcement from Dartmouth comes as 43 million Americans wait to learn whether President Joe Biden will forgive all or some of their federal loans as part of the ongoing discussion concerning student debt in the US.