(Bloomberg) -- Dartmouth College is removing student loans from its financial-aid packages and will instead offer undergraduates expanded scholarship grants, the university announced Tuesday. That could save middle-income students as much as $5,500 per year, or an average of $22,000 over four years.
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Starting June 23, federal and private loans will no longer be offered to undergraduates from families with annual incomes of $125,000 or more who are eligible for need-based aid. The New Hampshire-based Ivy League had already eliminated loan offerings from aid packages for students from families who earned $125,000 or less.
“Dartmouth already offers generous assistance to students from low-income backgrounds, and this move to a universal no-loan policy will help middle-income families who often have to stretch their budgets to meet the cost of higher education,” said Darmouth’s Director of Financial Aid Dino Koff.
In October 2021, Dartmouth said its endowment generated a 46.5% return. That announcement led to the elimination of the expected parent contribution for families making up to $65,000. A report by the Institute for College Access & Success found New Hampshire — where Dartmouth is located — has the highest average student loan debt per student with $39,928 from the class of 2019.
The US is facing a $1.75 trillion student debt crisis, and the costs of higher education continue to climb each year. The average balance for borrowers of federal student loans is $37,113; the figure jumps to $40,904 when including private debt. Since 2020, President Joe Biden has continually extended a moratorium on student loan payments, and he is now considering forgiving at least $10,000 in student loans per borrower.
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