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10 Great Colleges That Won't Make Students Take Loans

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The schools on our list of best college values have earned high grades for generous financial aid awards, which reduce the amount students must borrow to pay the bills. But some schools go even further, eliminating loans from their financial aid packages.

The number of schools that have no-loan policies, whereby scholarships and grants replace loans in their financial aid packages, has increased from just a handful of schools over a decade ago to 70. Some colleges limit no-loan packages to students whose family income falls below a certain level (such as $60,000 a year), while others have cut out loans for all students who are eligible for financial aid.


The programs don't necessarily eliminate all loans. Even at schools where borrowing isn't part of the deal, a student's financial aid package is based on what the school estimates a student's family can afford to pay. Some families can't or choose not to pay the full amount, which means students may have to borrow to make up the difference. And some students borrow to pay for things that aren't included in the budget covered by their financial aid package or to avoid having to take an on-campus or summer job.

The 10 schools on this list, most of which appear on our list of the top 10 overall best colleges, earned top marks in our combined 2018 rankings (which include private liberal arts colleges and private universities as well as public colleges). All 10 exclude loans from all their financial aid packages, regardless of family income.

SEE ALSO: Find the Best College for You


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