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Ohio State University and Smith College are rethinking student loans as they find better ways to help students pay for higher education. 

Dec 14 2021

Ohio State University and Smith College are rethinking student loans as they find better ways to help students pay for higher education. Starting in fall 2022, the two schools will take loans out of their financial aid packages and allocate philanthropic dollars for grant aid for undergraduates. As conversations surrounding the student debt crisis pick up, some colleges and universities (76 to be exact) have adopted no-loan policies (although, most of these schools have large endowments, enroll a small number of students who need financial support, and are selective institutions). According to Smith College President Kathleen McCartney, adopting the no-loan policy is one way they’re “promoting racial justice and equity” after acknowledging the racial disparity in borrowing loans: 89% of Black students at the college have loans compared to 56% of White students. Thanks to double-digit endowment returns and a $50 million gift from a graduate, the money will fund one-time grants for low-income students, totaling $90 million Smith College plans to award in financial aid next year. Meanwhile, Ohio State launched a 10-year plan (the Scarlet and Gray Advantage) for getting rid of student loans from its financial aid packages by raising $800 million to provide scholarships, grants, and paid work opportunities to students. YPulse’s education data shows 37% of 13-39-year-olds who are interested in college say financial aid offerings / availability is a quality they consider when choosing a school. (The Washington PostInsider)