//71 Colleges With ‘No Student Loans’ Policies

71 Colleges With ‘No Student Loans’ Policies

Cracking open an acceptance letter isn’t the only crucial moment of your summer before college. Decoding your award letter is just as significant.

After all, what good is being admitted if you can’t afford your way to campus?

Affordability, however, may no longer be a concern at dozens of schools around the country. They offer the most generous financial aid packages — no student loans necessary.

What is a no-loans policy?

America’s collective student loan debt stands at $1.56 trillion and growing, and many colleges and universities have decided they want to no part of increasing the figure.

Through so-called no-loans policies, these schools’ financial aid offices promise not to employ federal, institutional or private student loans to help you meet your cost of attendance. They replace debt with scholarships, grants and work-study opportunities, plus parent contributions when possible.

To be clear: If you decide to borrow money, these schools won’t stop you. Stanford University’s financial aid office says it will assist you in securing a loan if you decide you’d rather not spend the school year or summer working. (You might also resort to borrowing if your school’s no-loan package doesn’t cover the off-campus apartment or nonacademic expenses you might need to pay.)

Still, the following schools make it a point that you don’t have to take on debt to take on higher education.

71 colleges and universities with no-loans policies

Not all no-loan schools have the same offering. Some promise to help all students bypass borrowing, while others assist only low-income or in-state students avoid education debt.

All students

These 21 colleges and universities — including some prestigious schools with need-blind admissions and healthy endowments — will help all incoming students avoid student debt.

1. Amherst College

2. Berea College

3. Bowdoin College

4. Brown University

5. Colby College

6. College of the Ozarks

7. Columbia University

8. Davidson College

9. Harvard University

10. Haverford College

11. Johns Hopkins University

12. Northwestern University

13. Pomona College

14. Princeton University

15. Stanford University

16. Swarthmore College

17. University of Chicago

18. University of Pennsylvania

19. Vanderbilt University

20. Washington and Lee University

21. Yale University

Low-income students

These 24 schools reserve their no-loans policy for their lowest-income students. Each policy sets criteria for qualifying, including:

Your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) would give these schools the information they need to determine your eligibility for a loan-free aid package.

22. Arizona State University: Household income up to $25,000

23. California Institute of Technology: Household income below $60,000

24. Connecticut College: Household income $50,000 or below and EFC $5,000 or below

25. Cornell University: Household income below $60,000 and assets below $100,000

26. Dartmouth College: Household income below $100,000

27. Duke University: Household income below $40,000

28. Emory University: Household income below $50,000

29. Lafayette College: Household income below $50,000 and have limited assets

30. Lehigh University: Household income below $75,000 and assets below $500,000

31. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Household income below $75,000 and have limited assets

32. Miami University (Ohio): Household income of $35,000 or less

33. Michigan State University: Household income at or below the poverty line

34. Oberlin College: Qualify for a Pell Grant

35. Rice University: Household income below $80,000

36. Tufts University: Household income below $40,000

37. University of California schools: Household income below $60,000

38. University of Maryland: An EFC of zero

39. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Household income up to 200% of the poverty line

40. University of Virginia: Household income up to 200% of the poverty line

41. University of Washington: Household income up to about 235% of the poverty line and qualify for Pell Grants or state-needed grants

42. Vassar College: Household income below $60,000

43. Washington University: Household income below $75,000

44. Wellesley College: Household income $60,000 or below

45. Wesleyan University: Household income $40,000 or below

In-state students

Aside from chasing in-state tuition, there’s another reason to attend the college or university in your own backyard. It comes without strings — er, loans — attached.

If you don’t mind staying close to home, check out the no-loans requirements for these 26 schools, rounding out our overall list of 71:

Arizona

46. University of Arizona: Residents with a household income $42,400 or less who are eligible for a Pell Grant

California

47. University of California schools: Residents with a household income below $80,000

Colorado

48. Colorado State University-Pueblo: Residents with a household income below $50,000 who received a Pell Grant

Connecticut

49. Fairfield University: Bridgeport, Conn., high school graduates with a household income below $50,000

50. Sacred Heart University: Fairfield County high school graduates with a household income below $50,000

Florida

51. University of Florida: Residents with a household income below $40,000 seeking to become first-generation college graduates in their family

Georgia

52. Georgia Institute of Technology: Residents whose parents earn less than $33,300 per year

Illinois

53. Northern Illinois University: College freshman residents who are eligible for Pell and state grants

54. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Residents with a zero EFC and a household income below the poverty line

Indiana

55. Indiana University: Residents who completed the 21st Century Scholars application in middle school and are eligible for the federal government’s free lunch program

Kentucky

56. University of Louisville: Residents with household income below 150% of the poverty line

Massachusetts

57. Boston University: Residents who graduated from a public school in the state

58. College of Holy Cross: Worcester, Mass., residents with a household income below $50,000

Michigan

59. University of Michigan: Residents with a zero EFC who are pursuing their first bachelor’s degree

Minnesota

60. University of Minnesota schools: Residents attending school full time with a household income up to $100,000

North Carolina

61. Appalachian State University: Residents attending school full-time with a household income below the poverty line and a zero EFC

Ohio

62. University of Toledo: Residents graduating from an Ohio public high school with a 3.0 GPA who are eligible for the Pell Grant

Tennessee

63. Bryan College: Residents with a household income below $35,000 who are pursuing their first bachelor’s degree

64. University of Tennessee: Residents with a household income up to $40,000

Texas

65. Texas State University: Residents with a household income $25,000 or less who are pursuing their first bachelor’s degree

66. Lamar University: Residents with a household income below $25,001 who are eligible for a Pell Grant

67. University of Texas at El Paso: Residents with a household income below $30,000 or less

68. University of Texas at Dallas: Residents with a household income $25,000 or less who are attending school full-time and are eligible for Pell Grants

69. Texas A&M University: Residents with a household income $60,000 or less

Vermont

70. University of Vermont: Residents who are eligible for a Pell Grant

Virginia

71. College of William and Mary: Residents with a household income below $40,000

How to qualify for the no-loans schools on your college list

The FAFSA is a crucial step to affording any college. It will set the benchmark of your EFC and potentially work in your favor as you seek financial aid not offered directly by schools, perhaps in the form of private scholarships and grants from your state.

Contact the financial aid offices of your top schools, whether they have no-loans policies or not, to collect the latest information about their resources and support. You can determine what kind of aid you qualify for, and how to go about obtaining it.

If a handful of no-loans schools are on your college list and you’re eligible to benefit, you’re in luck. Keep in mind, however, that while generous aid could be handed out, gaining admission would still be up to you.

The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing.

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