Dartmouth Ends Generosity Policy

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On January 31 Williams College announced it was giving up on its no-loans policy, saying: “We are operating in unsettled and, for us all, unsettling times. It now seems prudent to reintroduce modest loans for some aided students, beginning with the class that enters in the fall of 2011.” Apparently it was not the last school. From the Chronicle of Higher Education comes news that:

Dartmouth College announced on Monday the layoffs of 76 people and a return to including loans as part of the financial-aid mix for some students.

The financial-aid change will affect students from families with incomes above $75,000. Dartmouth eliminated loans from all financial-aid packages two years ago and replaced them with scholarships. But the college’s president, Jim Yong Kim, said on Monday that “financial realities” had dictated the end of that policy.

About 40 colleges instituted no-loan financial aid policies in the last decade. The endowment at Dartmouth declined by about 23 percent last year, though it still stands at about $2.8 billion.

In announcing the elimination of student loans in 2008, Dartmouth’s then-president, James Wright, said:

Dartmouth’s enhanced financial aid program will ensure that all our students are better able to take full advantage of the Dartmouth experience. Building on our more than three-fold increase in financial aid since 1998, I am pleased that we could make this further enhancement to our financial aid program as we seek to keep Dartmouth affordable and to enroll the most talented students from around the world.

About 70 percent of U.S. households earn less than $75,000 a year.

Tuition at Dartmouth College is $38,445 a year.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer