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Beefing up offers

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December 31, 2007

Many colleges, primarily highly selective schools, are replacing loans with grants in financial aid packages for undergraduates. Here is a sampling of the colleges and their policies:

Duke University: Replacing loans with grants for families with incomes under $40,000, reducing loan contribution over time for families with incomes up to $100,000, and capping loan contribution to $5,000 annually for families with incomes over $100,000. Start date: Fall 2008.

Harvard University: Eliminating loans for all current and entering undergraduates, regardless of income. Start date: Fall 2008.

Haverford College: Replacing loans with grants for incoming freshmen and reducing loan obligation for returning students. Start date: Fall 2008.

Swarthmore College: Expanding 20-year-old policy of no loans for the lowest-income students to all students. Start date: Fall 2008.

Tufts University: Replaced loans with grants for undergraduates whose annual income was below $40,000. Start date: Fall 2007.

University of Pennsylvania: Expanding existing no-loan policy for low- and lower-middle income families to eventually include all undergraduates. Start date: Fall 2008, for families with incomes under $100,000. Fall 2009: For all income levels.

Williams College: Expanding no-loan policy from lowest-income families to all undergraduates. Start date: Fall 2008.

Source: The colleges. To see a more comprehensive list of colleges offering similar financial aid deals, go to projectonstudentdebt.org and click on the list of pledges.

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