Brown University in Rhode Island announced earlier this month that it raised $30 million in the past few months with the intent to do away with student loans in financial aid packages for incoming students. The university will offer scholarship funds instead of the loans. The fundraising effort was first announced in September as a way to assist middle-class students.
To create a program that is self-sufficient without the need for more fundraising, the university hopes to raise another $90 million, totaling $120 million. It has some time to accomplish this before it plans to start dispersing scholarship funds as part of its financial aid packages. The scholarship money won’t take the place of student loans until the start of the 2018-19 school year. The loans will be given to freshmen as well as returning undergraduates.
The University’s Reaction to the Results
University officials couldn’t be happier with the amount of financial support that has flooded in during the weeks of fundraising for the project they’re calling The Brown Promise: The Future of Financial Aid at Brown.
“The response so far to The Brown Promise has been nothing short of phenomenal,” Brown President Christina Paxson said in Brown’s press release.
Proving that no dollar amount is too small to help fund a big project, the smallest donations received by Brown were for the amount of $1. The donations ran the gamut from that tiny amount to millions of dollars. In total, there were 2,087 donors.
How This Will Help Students
Other schools, including Michigan University, the State Universities of New York, and the City Universities of New York, have tried to implement a similar move in recent times. Finding ways to make college attendance accessible and affordable for all socioeconomic groups is becoming more of a priority for schools as they struggle to survive and thrive in today’s world.
While many schools have programs in place to help low-income students, there are fewer programs aimed at helping middle-class students. When pursuing college educations, middle-class students often get left in the cold financially speaking. They sometimes barely exceed income requirements meant to help universities’ lower-income students, but they don’t have wealthy parents who can foot the bill for their education either.
This makes these students turn to student loans to cover tuition which often leads to excessive debt down the road. The situation places them in a tenuous position; oftentimes, students need to rely on education loans outside of federal options to supplement their financial aid. Some top-notch students end up avoiding more expensive schools like Brown University in favor of more affordable options like community colleges.
This drive will help attract talented students to Brown University – students who otherwise might not be able to consider attending this university because of its relatively high price tag. This year’s incoming class at Brown University faced a full-cost price of $67,439. That cost breaks down to account for $53,419 from tuition and fees as well as $14,020 for room and board.
With many students saddled deep in student loan debt by the time they graduate from college, programs like the one Brown is trying to institute may become a huge draw for students, bolstering attendance at certain universities.
Author: Andrew Rombach
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