University to replace loans with grants for neediest students

Whoah! Whoah whoah whoah yes. Yes.

Beginning with the first-year class enrolling in the fall of 2008, most students whose total family incomes are $40,000 per year or less will receive an aid package that substitutes grants for any loan obligation. Beginning with the same class, all other students who receive aid will graduate with a four-year total loan indebtedness reduced by an average of 35 percent. Aid packages will include a single student loan, the federally subsidized Stafford Loan.”

Awesome. I wish that I had taken two years off after high school, but awesome. I’ve been wishing that Wesleyan could do this for a long time but all I’ve heard is that we don’t have the money. And so I give the $26 million Zelnick Pavilion dirty looks and go on with my life.

I’m glad. It seems like all we’ve been talking about lately is building (Good thing we’re free of MoCon! Good thing we’re free of Davenport! Hall Atwater is so 20th century… let’s spend another 126 mil. And while we’re at it, don’t you think the Usdan is getting a little dated?) — so this is refreshing news. Administrators do care! (okay, feel free to comment on that). It also makes me believe that we actually will eliminate loans for all students when we can.

The announcement is here.

28 thoughts on “University to replace loans with grants for neediest students

  1. Anonymous

    This is great news. I happen to know that the reason it’s being done here, for the most part, is because Amherst and now Williams have done it, NOT because it’s a Wesleyan initiative. Wesleyan, in fact, still does not know where they are going to get this money from.

  2. Anonymous

    This is great news. I happen to know that the reason it’s being done here, for the most part, is because Amherst and now Williams have done it, NOT because it’s a Wesleyan initiative. Wesleyan, in fact, still does not know where they are going to get this money from.

  3. noa

    I think ze meant to say “as opposed to lower-middle class family that makes *over* $40,000.” In that case, ze meant that financial aid is already most helpful to the lowest income bracket, whereas the lower-middle class students graduate with the most loans.Based on personal experience, I think there’s truth in that. My family income is very low, and I have awesome financial aid. I’ll graduate with $20,000+ in debt…However, I know students whose families have somewhat more money, but who are asked to pay a LOT more – more than their parents “can pay”. So these students are covering the difference themselves and will graduate with a lot more debt than I will.On the other hand, when parents of middle-class families say that they “can’t pay” that much, it means that they can’t pay that amount and maintain a certain standard of living, which lower-income families never had to begin with.

  4. noa

    I think ze meant to say “as opposed to lower-middle class family that makes *over* $40,000.” In that case, ze meant that financial aid is already most helpful to the lowest income bracket, whereas the lower-middle class students graduate with the most loans.

    Based on personal experience, I think there’s truth in that. My family income is very low, and I have awesome financial aid. I’ll graduate with $20,000+ in debt…

    However, I know students whose families have somewhat more money, but who are asked to pay a LOT more – more than their parents “can pay”. So these students are covering the difference themselves and will graduate with a lot more debt than I will.

    On the other hand, when parents of middle-class families say that they “can’t pay” that much, it means that they can’t pay that amount and maintain a certain standard of living, which lower-income families never had to begin with.

  5. Anonymous

    If 10:42 AM checks the US Census Bureau site, a family of four making $40k a year is not the equivalent “lower middle class.” They are actually in the bottom 20% of all wage earners for a family of 4. That ain’t the middle (trust me, I lived in the $40k range for much of my life with my parents, brother and 2 sisters).

  6. Anonymous

    If 10:42 AM checks the US Census Bureau site, a family of four making $40k a year is not the equivalent “lower middle class.” They are actually in the bottom 20% of all wage earners for a family of 4. That ain’t the middle (trust me, I lived in the $40k range for much of my life with my parents, brother and 2 sisters).

  7. Anonymous

    as an article in the argus commented, the financial aid is by far most helpful to the poorest students here (those whose family make under $40,000). what screws you over is if you are a middle-middle class family (as opposed to a lower-middle class family that makes under $40,000). then the university is telling you that you have to pay one amount, and your parents are telling you that they cant pay that much. every year when i get my financial aid package i worry about not being able to come back here.

  8. Anonymous

    as an article in the argus commented, the financial aid is by far most helpful to the poorest students here (those whose family make under $40,000). what screws you over is if you are a middle-middle class family (as opposed to a lower-middle class family that makes under $40,000). then the university is telling you that you have to pay one amount, and your parents are telling you that they cant pay that much. every year when i get my financial aid package i worry about not being able to come back here.

  9. Mad Joy

    Oh wow, way to be bitter, responders. This is amazing news! thanks for posting it, noa!! and thanks, roth & administration!

  10. Mad Joy

    Oh wow, way to be bitter, responders. This is amazing news! thanks for posting it, noa!! and thanks, roth & administration!

  11. noa

    They said who they mean by “the neediest” – students with family incomes below $40,000. Well… “most” of those students. But I have no reason to distrust the “most” at this point.:)As for eliminating all loans… I would like to see that, but I’m not applauding any less for this because we’re not there yet.Marianna, I feel you. For a second after reading the headline, I wondered whether it would go into effect for current students… sigh.But it’s not like I haven’t been planning to have loans… I am really happy and excited about the policy, and more proud to go here…. but I know what you mean.

  12. noa

    They said who they mean by “the neediest” – students with family incomes below $40,000. Well… “most” of those students. But I have no reason to distrust the “most” at this point.

    :)

    As for eliminating all loans… I would like to see that, but I’m not applauding any less for this because we’re not there yet.

    Marianna, I feel you. For a second after reading the headline, I wondered whether it would go into effect for current students… sigh.

    But it’s not like I haven’t been planning to have loans… I am really happy and excited about the policy, and more proud to go here.

    … but I know what you mean.

  13. Marianna

    I’m trying very hard to be happy for the people who will be affected by this…but mostly I’m just sorry it didn’t happen earlier.

  14. Marianna

    I’m trying very hard to be happy for the people who will be affected by this…but mostly I’m just sorry it didn’t happen earlier.

  15. Anonymous

    No, it is. And it is big. But let’s make sure we get the details (who is the ‘neediest’? when can we get a long-term goal of NO LOANS?) before we applaud too hard. Should set up for an interesting inauguration speech tomorrow.

  16. Anonymous

    No, it is. And it is big.

    But let’s make sure we get the details (who is the ‘neediest’? when can we get a long-term goal of NO LOANS?) before we applaud too hard. Should set up for an interesting inauguration speech tomorrow.

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