There's a college affordability crisis in America. Over 20 schools now have 'no-loan' policies, eliminating student loans. So far, only one Illinois school has switched.

What is the 'No-Loan' Policy?

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According to a recent CNBC story about this growing 'no-loan' policy trend, it means the college or university will meet 100% of an undergraduate’s need for financial aid with grants rather than student loans

Going to college is more and more becoming an option ONLY for those with the means to pay for it.

Right now, only the top colleges and universities can afford to fully meet students' financial needs without loans.

"No loans" clearly doesn't mean free. A family would still have to kick in on things like books and fees. Some of the schools offering this policy have a work-study requirement. The school's policy does not mean a student or their family can't apply for loans to cover those costs.

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Among the schools on The Princeton Review’s “The Best 389 Colleges” list, 23 promise to meet 100% of their undergraduates’ financial needs without loans, the list includes only one school in Illinois, for now.

  • Amherst College in Amherst, Mass.
  • Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine
  • Brown University in Providence, R.I.
  • Colby College in Waterville, Maine
  • Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.
  • Davidson College in Davidson, N.C.
  • Duke University in Durham, N.C.
  • Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa
  • Harvard College (Undergrad Liberal Arts program) in Cambridge, Mass.
  • Lafayette College in Easton, Pa.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.
  • Pomona College in Claremont, Calif.
  • Princeton University in Princeton, N.J.
  • Smith College in Northampton, Mass.
  • Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pa.
  • University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.
  • Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
  • Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.
  • Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn.
  • Williams College in Williamstown, Mass.
  • Yale University in New Haven, Conn.

And currently, the only Illinois school that has switched to a 'no-loan' policy is:

  • Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

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I sure hope that something can be figured out to be in a position to expand this policy to schools that wouldn't necessarily fall under an 'elite college/university' umbrella as many of the 23 schools above are.

The full story on CNBC.

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