Student loans

Students react to College replacing undergraduate student loans with scholarships

While some students supported the change, others noted caveats to the new financial aid policy, which aims to help middle-income families.

by Adriana James-Rodil | 01/07/22 05:10

Effective June 23, the College changed its financial aid policy, replacing federal and institutional loans with scholarships for undergraduate students. The financial aid policy change was first announced at a high school reunion event and is part of the Call to lead country.

Specifically, the College’s new financial aid policy will benefit families earning more than $125,000 who qualify for need-based financial aid by removing the loan requirement, aimed at reaching middle-income earners. . Loans contracted previously at the start of the summer term by current students will not be affected by this policy change.

Although he doesn’t fall into the category of those this new policy will affect, incoming student Lakshmi Jain ’26 said the change was “impressive”.

“I think it’s really cool that the College is moving in this direction,” she said. “It seems like something that will really help Dartmouth students.”

Two campaign donations, in particular, propelled the College’s efforts to eliminate student debt – one being a $10 million gift from Anne Kubik ’87 and a separate $25 million gift from a anonymous donor, according to The Call to Lead campaign. A total of 65 families have contributed to the campaign’s efforts to eliminate student debt, totaling more than $80 million in donations to the endowment.

Although Jordan Narrol ’25 said he thinks the change should have happened sooner, he thinks “it reflects the changing view of education in America” ​​because now many students can focus more on their education rather than paying off loans by working through terms and after graduation. .

Dylan Griffith ’25 said he initially felt excited about the announcement because he comes from a middle-income family who took out federal student loans. However, Griffith said when he contacted the college’s financial aid office, he learned that this change did not apply to students eligible for federal student loans separately from the Dartmouth financial aid scholarship.

“I’m sure it’s a good decision for a lot of students, and it’s indicative of the generosity of our alumni, and I’m really grateful for that,” Griffith said. “But it doesn’t help me the way I thought it would.”

Upon admission to Dartmouth, Griffith said he received a general scholarship from Dartmouth as well as loans in its financial aid program. The summer before his first term, Griffith added that he received an ROTC scholarship that covers his tuition, replacing his general scholarship from Dartmouth.

With the ROTC scholarship, however, Griffith said he still qualifies for federal student loans separately. He explained that because he is not receiving the Dartmouth General Scholarship, the financial aid office would not qualify him to cancel his federal student loans.

“I think this is a great first step, but the College should also readjust what it considers needs-based contributions and family contributions in the future to more accurately reflect middle-class families. [and] real-life situations,” Griffith said.

Ian Scott ’24, a member of the organizing committee of the Student Worker Collective at Dartmouth (SWCD), described the change in financial aid policy as a “nice gesture” but only “the first step in a long walk towards creation of this campus and this region that properly serves its working-class communities.