More Colleges Erasing Student Loan Debt, But More Actions Needed To End The Surging Crisis

With the nation’s student loan debt exceeding $1.73 trillion, more and more colleges are revoking the expense to help prevent the crisis from worsening.

However, more needs to be done as just a small number of schools have applied those actions as student debt keeps rising.

Colgate University, a private college in New York, announced it is using a $1.3 billion endowment to make a four-year education significantly much affordable for students, Business Insider reported. It kicked off an effort to make Colgate tuition-free for students with an annual family income of less than $80,000. And students with family incomes of up to $150,000 will not have to take out student loans to pay for their education as they will be offered grants alternately.

“We have a $1.3 billion endowment for a relatively small school,” Colgate University President Brian Casey told Yahoo Finance. “We have very strong alumni support. So, we went to our alumni and said: ‘We want to start taking away student loans.’”

Last week, Smith College announced an initiative to delete student loans from its undergraduate financial aid packages for students receiving need-based grants. And for students with expected family contributions of less than $7,000, the private school in Massachusetts reported they would get one-time “start-up grants” of $1,000, along with their financial aid packages.

Princeton reportedly became the nation’s first university to replace loans with grants that do not need to be repaid in 2001. It joined schools like AmherstHarvard, and Yale planning to launch similar initiatives in the following years.

While those efforts are encouraging for college affordability, the number of schools erasing student loans from financial aid packages remains meager. Many borrowers are still trapped with student debt for decades after graduating, with some worried they will die with their loans.

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