"Colgate University has announced a new initiative to lower student debt for its graduates. Starting in fall 2020, the university will no longer include federal loans in its financial aid packages for students whose families earn no more than $125,000, instead making up the money with additional grants," the Observer-Dispatch reports.
"'Colgate must continue to attract the most qualified students from around the world and this new financial support initiative will help to ensure our classrooms are filled with the brightest minds from all economic backgrounds,' said President Brian Casey in a statement.
The new policy is expected to benefit about half of the 49 percent of students who receive financial aid, according to the university. About half of financial aid recipients have household incomes too high to qualify.
The average annual federal loan at Colgate is about $2,200 in an average $53,000 aid package, according to the university. Attending Colgate costs about $75,000 a year without financial aid.
On average, students who graduated in June owed $15,305 in student debt. The national average debt for a graduating senior in 2017 was $28,650, according to the Institute for College Access & Success.
Colgate joins a national trend of colleges that have either completely eliminated federal loans in their financial aid packages or gotten rid of them for lower-income students. The website CollegeVine put together a list last year containing 17 schools that never include loans in financial aid and 28 schools that don’t include it for lower-income students.
But getting rid of student loans is just one of many strategies colleges have been trying to make college more affordable for low- and middle-income families.
The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators has come up with a list of its recommendations to keep students from graduating with too much debt, including: letting schools limit how much students may borrow; get rid of so-called origination feeds on student loans; establishing a single undergraduate annual subsidized and unsubsidized loan limit; linking total borrowing to year in school to ensure students are progressing toward graduation; and strengthening the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which forgives a portion of debt in exchange for work in public service, such as social work or law enforcement."
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Publication Date: 7/11/2019