Penn to offer loan-free aid

Posted Tuesday Dec. 18 In the latest shake-up to Ivy League financial-aid policies, the University of Pennsylvania announced Monday that it would eliminate all loans from student aid packages within two years.

Beginning next September, families with annual incomes under $100,000 will receive loan-free aid packages from the university, while families making more than that will be burdened with 10 percent fewer loans. By fall 2009, all undergraduates eligible for financial aid will receive loan-free aid packages, the university said in a press release.

No caption.
No caption.

Penn’s aid budget will increase by more than 20 percent, to more than $110 million a year, as a result of the move.

“This represents a tremendous commitment — and enormous investment — on Penn’s part to increasing access for thousands of students,” Penn President Amy Gutmann said in a statement.

The policy shift comes on the heels of Harvard’s announcement last Monday that it would reduce the family contribution expected of families making up to $180,000 per year and eliminate all student loans.

Princeton did away with student loans in 2001. Yale still includes loans as part of its financial-aid packages.

After Harvard’s announcement last week, University President Richard Levin said Yale would make a “major announcement” on undergraduate financial aid in early January, although he declined to disclose any details of the planned reforms at the time.

“It seems that a number of schools are making improvements in their aid programs, and we think this is good news for families,” Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeff Brenzel said in an e-mail Tuesday. “As President Levin has said, we’ll have a major announcement in January for Yale.”

Yale’s last major reform of its financial-aid policies came in March 2005, when it eliminated the parental contribution for families making less than $45,000 and reduced contributions for families making between $45,000 and $60,000.

Comments