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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Scholarship Donors Push Student Loans Out

With all of the ongoing controversy over whether loans help or hurt students, Brown University has managed to raise enough donations to float its financial aid without asking students to borrow money for their education.

According to University Business, Brown just wrapped up a $30 million campaign to plump its scholarship funds. That money is intended to take the place of loans in aid extended to students enrolling next fall. Both returning undergraduates and first-years will benefit.

The campaign represented the latest phase of The Brown Promise, a program launched in 2003 to ensure a diverse body of applicants could actually afford to attend the university, regardless of their personal financial situation. Brown instituted a need-blind admission process, but did rely on loans to close the gap for some students.

As an article on Quartz notes, Brown isn’t the only institution to eliminate student loans from its financial-aid package but many of the others “have income cutoffs … meaning that poorer families get better deals than those with midrange incomes.” Brown’s program reaches middle-income students, who might be able to scrape the money together but at a considerable sacrifice.

Brown is gearing up to raise another $90 million to fully endow the program to keep it going. 

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