Grants to replace loans for undergraduates

Jan. 26, 2001, 5:58 p.m.

Princeton University will no longer require undergraduates on financial aid to obtain loans to help pay for their education. Beginning next fall, Princeton will eliminate its loan requirement, and replace it with additional scholarship support. The plan is one of several initiatives designed to ease the financial burden on students and their families, and builds on other significant improvements made in recent years.

In eliminating required loans, Princeton is acting against a national trend in which loans make up an increasing portion of student aid packages. Nationally, loans now account for 60 percent of all student aid. Princeton is the first of its peer institutions -- and, except for the service academies, possibly the first American university -- to announce that aid recipients will not be required to borrow to pay for college. (See case studies .)

The "no-loan" policy, approved by the Board of Trustees on Saturday, will affect all undergraduates attending Princeton beginning in the fall semester. It extends a groundbreaking program begun with the Class of 2002 to reduce the financial burden for low- and middle-income students. In that initiative, loan requirements were eliminated for students from families earning less than $46,500 and reduced for those earning between $46,500 and $66,500 (current dollars, adjusted for inflation).

"We want to ensure that no student admitted to Princeton feels that he or she cannot attend because it would present a financial hardship," said Princeton University President Harold T. Shapiro. "We have made all of today's improvements with that goal in mind."

For full details, see news release .

Contact: Justin Harmon (609) 258-3601